TWICKENHAM triathlete Tim Don hopes this weekend's Mazda London Triathlon will be his stepping stone to the 2012 Olympics.

The 31-year old former world champion won the event in London's Docklands two years ago and is keen to repeat the feat. But, having failed to finish due to illness at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, his main focus is success at London 2012.

Don, the son of former Football League referee Phillip Don, said: "I'm definitely aiming for London 2012. I'd love to be there and be a contender.

"For now, I'm just taking each race as it comes, and there is still a long way to go. But as long as the training continues to go okay and I'm fit, then I'll be there."

Don's London chances have been improved by the news that a number of other elite triathletes will not be on the starting line, preferring to concentrate on the World Series race in Hyde Park two weeks later.

He said: "They haven't finalised the start list yet, but I do know some of the top guys are missing the London triathlon to focus on the Hyde Park one. I'm doing Hyde Park as well. It's on the 2012 Olympic triathlon route, so it will be good practice for that."

And this weekend's event will help Don in his return from a calf injury he suffered earlier in the season.

A period of altitude training in Switzerland should also help him get in tip-top condition.

He said: "It's not often you get the chance to compete in something this good in your own backyard. My form's been pretty good this year. I had a torn calf muscle at the start of the season, but that's behind me now and I'm in good shape.

"I've been training at altitude in St Moritz and, apart from needing more oxygen, it's been going very well.

"It's like a Who's Who of international athletes here, with guys like Mo Farah and the Australian professional cycling team. It certainly gives you a buzz."

Tim Don, sponsored by Execution Ltd (www.execution, will be competing in the Mazda London Triathlon.

See for details.