Non Stanford and Alistair Brownlee will both miss the opening event in the International Triathlon Union World Series in Auckland on 5th-6th April.
Stanford, the reigning world champion, picked up a foot injury just over a week ago in the Trafford 10km and faces up to nine weeks on the sidelines, probably ruling her out of the second race in Cape Town, South Africa on 26th April, too.
The 25-year-old is still hoping to represent Wales in both the individual and mixed relay team triathlon in the Commonwealth Games and attempt to qualify for the 10km on the track. The injury setback has now made the Strathclyde Park event an even stronger focus.
“I’ll be on crutches and in a boot for three weeks and then probably looking at four to six weeks rehab after,” she said. “If anything it’ll mean I’ll have to train specifically for the Commonwealth Games instead of focussing on the World Series.
“We’ll have to sit down with the selectors and go through what the options are in terms of qualifying. But if I’m going to be in good enough shape for the triathlon then I’ll be in good shape for the track.”
Alistair Brownlee decides to rest his Achilles
Despite being on the original startlist, Olympic champion Brownlee has elected not to travel to New Zealand after spending the winter recuperating from an Achilles injury that hampered him last summer and wrecked his chances of picking up the world title in London in September.
The 25-year-old double-world champion has not competed Down Under since 2011, when he fell in wet conditions on the run in Sydney and trailed in 29th behind his younger brother and runner-up Jonny and winner Javier Gomez.
Alistair did however defend his short course title at the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon last weekend, linking up with younger brother Jonny to take gold and silver respectively.
Jonny will travel from Abu Dhabi to join up with a strong Great Britain line-up in New Zealand that includes Adam Bowden, Mark Buckingham, Matt Sharp and David McNamee.
The women’s line-up features Britain’s Lucy Hall, Vicky Holland, Natalie Milne, Lois Rosindale, world championship runner-up Jodie Stimpson and the long-awaited return of Helen Jenkins, who has not raced since the London Olympics.
(Main image: Delly Carr / ITU)
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