Triathlete Non Stanford eyes two medals at Toyko 2020 Olympics

Non Stanford
Non Stanford finished fourth at the 2016 Olympics in Rio
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Welsh triathlete Non Stanford has her sights on two medals at the Toyko 2020 Olympics after the mixed relay was included in the Games for the first time.

The former world champion has been named in Great Britain's mixed relay squad for the World Triathlon Series event in Nottingham on 7 June.

It follows her first individual podium for two years in Japan this month.

Stanford said the relay was "a great addition" to the Olympics programme.

"Anybody who qualifies for the British team will be in with a chance of getting two medals," the 29-year-old Swansea athlete told BBC Sport Wales.

"Two medals is massive for triathlon, it's double the number we've been able to win before."

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'This sport can be super cruel' - GB's Non Stanford wins bronze

Stanford said it was "an honour" to be asked to race in GB's mixed relay squad next month, which includes the likes of Olympic silver and bronze medallists Jonny Brownlee and Vicky Holland.

"It's the first opportunity for teams to start getting qualification points for the Olympics Games in 2020," she said.

"It's a really important event for us and British Triathlon are putting a lot of emphasis on it.

"It'll be great to be part of the team and hopefully I'll go out there and do a good job for GB."

Stanford said the mixed relay was a "high pressure and high excitement" event.

Teams are made up of two men and two women, and each athlete completes on average a 300m swim, 8k bike and a 1,500m run before handing over to the next person.

"It's super fast and anything can happen," said Stanford.

"Transitions are really important and small mistakes can make a big difference. You see races very often won and lost in those minor details."

Non Stanford
Non Stanford was crowned world champion in 2013

A return to form earlier this month followed a disappointing 2017 for Stanford, when she was only able to complete two World Series races through illness and injury.

The Team Wales captain was also "pretty disappointed" with eighth place in the women's triathlon at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April.

Stanford said her third place podium in Yokohama was "a confidence boost" and "great to know that things are moving in the right direction".

But she admitted she still has a lot of work to do and progress to make.

"It has been a tough couple of years when you're not performing to where you believe you should be," she said.

"But it's nice to get that validation and justification for what you're doing.

"It's quite a selfish pursuit and sometimes you question whether you're still on the right path, or whether you should grow up and get a real job."

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