Non Stanford says Commonwealth silver was perfect way to end her career

·3 min read
Non Stanford says Commonwealth silver was perfect way to end her career

Non Stanford claimed Commonwealth Games team triathlon silver was the perfect way to end her career after a trademark gritty performance.

Stanford won the world title in 2013 and finished fourth at the Rio Olympics but, aged 33, admits the clocking is ticking on her career.

And she claimed this podium performance - alongside Iestyn Harriet, Olivia Mathias and Dominic Coy - could have topped all her considerable achievements to date.

“This is the icing on the cake of my career and I can hang my shoes up now and be really happy," she said.

"It’s all thanks to this team. It’s the perfect ending to a really old career. I’ll retire from racing at the end of this year.

“It’s just as important, if not more important, than some of my own individual success.

“I cannot wait to watch the Welsh dragon go up. It’s something I’ve never witnessed in my career. I’m just ecstatic.

“This is huge for Welsh triathlon. Silver is the most we could have hoped for as England are on another planet. To come away with that is just like winning for us.

“We weren’t confident we’d get a medal beforehand. We thought we had an outside chance. We have surprised and shocked everybody, including ourselves.

“The crowds were unbelievable. They were even better than Friday. There was not just cheering for England, everyone was also cheering for Wales. It makes such a huge difference.

“Coming round the corner, I saw someone in an England kit screaming for me and I thought, ‘I’ve got to do it.’”

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games is inspiring people and communities across the country and Stanford hopes their performance will motivate others to get involved in sport.

Triathlons aren't meant to be a walk in the park but England still strolled, almost leisurely, to gold in the sunshine.

With men's champion Alex Yee and women's silver medallist Georgia Taylor-Brown in the line-up, this was the host team's race to lose and along with Sophie Coldwell and Sam Dickinson they were faultless from gun to tape for a 46 second victory.

Birmingham's leafy Sutton Park has not seen scenes like this since the World Scout Jamboree of 1957. Fans were several deep, their roar rolling around the undulating course as England took the lead and turned the screw on rivals.

It was a special podium moment too for Mathias, Yee's boyfriend.

She said: “We are usually in the same team with Great Britain, so to be on different teams is different. It was so cool to be on there together.”

Harrett admitted he struggled to watch Stanford on the last leg, as she battled with Australia and New Zealand to complete the podium.

“I was more nervous watching," he said.

"Everybody ran to the best of their ability and if you do that then you can achieve something special.

“To see the flag on the podium means everything to me, to have won a medal at a Commonwealth Games.

“When Non broke the New Zealander on the hill I thought, ‘We’ve got a medal here.’ But we didn’t know which colour and it was only around the last corner that we knew it was going to be silver."

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