Stanford and Brownlee feature at World Triathlon Yokohama
The fifth round of the ITU World Triathlon Series takes place in Yokohama, Japan on Saturday (16 May). The race marks the mid point in the Series, and features the Olympic Champion, Alistair Brownlee and former ITU World Champion, Non Stanford.
Seven British athletes have made the trip to Japan and Non Stanford will be amongst the most excited to get to the start line on Saturday. The Leeds based Welsh athlete hasn’t raced since the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in London in September 2013.
After so long away with injury, Stanford is keen to begin her journey back to full fitness. She will face Gwen Jorgensen (USA) who won hasn’t been beaten in the ITU World Triathlon Series competition for over a year and won in Yokohama last year.
Stanford said: “After 20 months without racing it feels fantastic to finally be getting ready to stand on a start line. I expect to be a little race-rusty, but I hope to put in a good performance and be able to target the later races this series with some real confidence.
“It’s been a long time away, and I want to really enjoy the experience of racing at the top level again, which is what I train for and what I love doing.”
Heather Sellars is the only other British female athlete racing, whilst five men including Alistair Brownlee are competing.
Brownlee made a stellar start to his season, winning the ITU World Triathlon Cape Town three weeks ago. He said: “I’d like to feel like I’m progressing, and that I’m sharper now than I was three weeks ago in Cape Town. I missed the first three races, so every race is important now if I want to be in contention at the end of the season.
“Lets see what Saturday brings, hopefully another good result before Jonny and I race each other in London."
Adam Bowden, Mark Buckingham, Tom Bishop and Gordon Benson complete the British men’s line up. Bowden will hope to continue his affinity with Yokohama having finished in the top ten for the last four years in a row.
Javier Gomez (ESP) retains his grip on the world number one ranking and starts in pole position.
Jonathan Brownlee, winner of two races already this season, is sitting out of this weekend, but will race the next round in London’s Hyde Park on 31 May. Helen Jenkins, Vicky Holland and Emma Pallant are also sitting this round out having all finished in the top in Cape Town with Holland, of course, the winner.
The women’s race in Yokohama starts at 10.06am local time followed by the men’s race at 1.06pm. Both races are available live on the BBC Red Button at 2am (women) and 5am (men) on Saturday morning.
A highlights programme will be on BBC2 at 4.30pm on Sunday, this will also include footage from the British Paratriathlon Championships in Llanelli, which take place on Saturday (16 May).
British athletes racing at ITU World Triathlon Yokohama, 1500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run:
Gordon Benson, 21, Leeds
Tom Bishop, 23, from Derby, trains Leeds
Adam Bowden, 32, from Watford, trains Loughborough
Alistair Brownlee, 27, Leeds
Mark Buckingham, 30, from Holmfirth, trains Leeds
Heather Sellars, 24, Leeds
Non Stanford, 26, from Swansea, trains Leeds
Photo - DElly Carr ITU