Stanford celebrates world triumph
Non Stanford continued Britain's dominance of triathlon by being crowned world champion with victory at the Grand Final in Hyde Park.
The 24-year-old had to serve a 15-second penalty on the 10 kilometre run but was never troubled, while fourth place for Jodie Stimpson was enough to give her second in the overall standings.
Stanford follows in the footsteps of fellow Welshwoman Helen Jenkins, the world champion in 2008 and 2011, while Olympic gold medallist Alistair Brownlee leads the men's standings going into the final race on Sunday just ahead of his brother Jonny.
The world title is decided over a series of races, and Stanford began the day a close third behind America's Gwen Jorgensen and Anne Haug of Germany.
But things quickly changed, with Haug dropping out of contention after finishing a distant last in the 1.5km swim and Jorgensen crashing on the second lap of the 40km bike leg.
Stanford had picked up her penalty at the first transition for failing to put her wetsuit in the box, but she sprinted away from the second transition and quickly had a decent lead.
By the time she took the penalty on the last lap, she was well ahead of her opposition, and she had time to grab a Welsh flag to hold aloft as she ran down the finishing straight.
Stanford crossed the line 25 seconds ahead of Ireland's Aileen Reid, who matched her best world series result, with Australia's Emma Moffatt in third.
Stanford, a training partner of the Brownlees, becomes the second athlete after Alistair to win the world under-23 title and overall title in successive years.
Her achievement was all the more impressive, meanwhile, given she broke her arm in a crash in Hamburg in July but finished second in Stockholm just five weeks later.
Stanford said: "It's crazy. It hasn't really sunk in yet. I'm taking it in my stride at the minute but I'm sure when I get five minutes to myself and get to reflect on it I'll probably get quite emotional.
"I just can't put it into words right now. All the ups and downs and I've managed to hold it together and pull it off.
"And to stand on the podium with Jodie was just fantastic. It's really put the icing on the cake and I couldn't think of a better way to end it. Hopefully the boys will do the same tomorrow and it will be the perfect weekend for British triathlon."
Jonny Brownlee had served a similar penalty at the Olympics last year on his way to third place, and waiting for the 15 seconds to tick by proved equally tough for Stanford.
She said: "It's never ending. The guy was like, 'I'll give you a countdown from five seconds', and I just looked at him like, 'When's this countdown coming. Come on!' But it did come and I just got out of there as fast as I could."
Haug eventually finished 35th, which was enough for her to overtake Jorgensen to finish third in the overall standings.
The American's demise certainly played into Stanford's hands, but she said: "I'd much rather have had Gwen there on the run and to have raced against her and to have won the world title that way. But it's part and parcel of the game."
It has been a breakthrough season for Stimpson, who missed out on Olympic selection last year but has now guaranteed her place at next year's Commonwealth Games.
The 24-year-old from Oldbury fought back tears as she said: "I was really gutted to miss last year. It means a lot to come back here and have my whole family here.
"I've been excited about this all year and I wanted to put on a good show for my family. I felt like I let them down last year by not qualifying. Hopefully I've given them a better show this year and it's made up a little bit for missing the Olympics."
Sharing the podium with Stanford, meanwhile, made it extra special.
"Non is absolutely amazing and I'm so chuffed for her," said Stimpson.
"She's an amazing competitor and it's an honour to race on the same course as her and to go shoulder to shoulder with her. Hopefully next year we'll be running to the finish together."