Stanford and Jenkins Chase Gold and Jorgensen

Non Stanford knows she and Helen Jenkins will have to defy the odds if either is to strike triathlon gold in Rio on Saturday.

Stanford and Jenkins are the two Welsh women carrying Great Britain’s hopes into the race, along with teammate Vicky Holland.

Like Jenkins, Stanford, 27 is a former world champion, but if one of them is to become Olympic champion they will have to find a way to beat American Gwen Jorgensen.

Only Jenkins, 32, with her brilliant race in the Gold Coast earlier this year, has managed to finish ahead of Jorgensen for more than two years and she is a huge favourite to take gold.

But Jorgensen and everyone else will likely have to dance to the tune of Bermuda’s Flora Duffy, who has changed the face of women’s triathlon with her prowess on the bike.

Duffy leads the World Triathlon Series having won the last two races and, if any or all of the British athletes can get on her wheel without Jorgensen, then gold might not be impossible.

Stanford, from Swansea, said: “All three of us want to see a medal brought home. It’s a really strong field and I’m sure it will be a hard race from start to finish.

“Flora Duffy isn’t going to be waiting around for anybody on the bike. She’s massively upped her game and it’s definitely changed the dynamics of racing.

“That’s quite exciting and it’s nice to see something different. It’s going to be a tough day but that should play to our strengths.”

This will be a first major Games for Stanford, a former runner who won the world under-23 triathlon title in 2012 and the senior title the following year.

But Bridgend athlete Jenkins competed in Beijing in 2008 and in London four years ago, where she finished just outside of the medals in fifth place.


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