Swansea's Non Stanford on top of the world
Swansea athlete Non Stanford has grown up to become senior world triathlon champion.
The 24-year-old, who first came to prominence as a teenager back in 2003 through three wins out of three in the London mini-marathon, won the ITU World Triathlon series with victory in the Grand Final in London on Saturday.
And the former pupil of St Joseph’s School in Port Talbot did it despite a 15-second penalty for not placing her wet suit in the box after her swim.
The triathlon, one of the most stamina-sapping events in sport, comprises of a 1500m swim followed by a 40km cycle and finishes with a 10km run.
The Swansea Harrier finished the Hyde Park race in 2 hours, 1 minute and 32 seconds.
Non, who even found time to carry a Welsh flag, handed from the crowd, as she sprinted down the home straight clear of the field, made history by going from under 23 world champion to senior world champion in just one year.
Speaking to the cameras shortly after the race she said: “I’m speechless, I’ve dreamed about this.
“I haven’t slept because it’s all I’ve been thinking about.
“I can’t belive that I pulled it off. There was so much media attention around it and I really wanted to put on a good show today.
“All my friends and family are here so I’m just delighted that I was able to do it in front of them and for them.”
Having grown-up in West Cross Non now resides in the north of England in order to attend the British Triathlon Satellite Centre in Leeds.
Sue Leyshon , a coach and team manger at the Harriers said: “She is still a member of Swansea Harriers and when she can, she competes for us in the national league.
“I spoke to he about five weeks ago to congratulate her as she was doing really well.”
Of Saturday’s big win she added: “I was actually in a wedding on Saturday and someone said Non had won, every one was talking about her in the wedding.
“It’s excellent news but I’m not surprised. She wasn’t the favourite but she is a very determined girl and she leaves no stone unturned.
“She’s a good swimmer and good on the bike but she is really strong when it comes to running.
“She’s a lovely girl, an absolute delight to work with.”