Due to a toe injury, Paula Radcliffe is out of FLORA London. In my mind, that puts her higher on the food chain for a medal in Beijing. The truth is, an Olympic championship or world championship is a whole different kind of race, and Beijing will be quite difficult. From the muggy conditions, to the challenging air, the marathon will be more than putting one foot in front of another for 26. 2 miles. It will be making one's move at the right time, in the right place and holding on for dear life.
We wish Paula Radcliffe a very speedy recovery.
For immediate release: Thursday 6th March 2008
Toe injury rules Radcliffe out of London Marathon
Paula Radcliffe has been forced to pull out of this year’s Flora London Marathon with a toe tendon injury, just five months before her bid to win gold at the Olympic Games in Beijing.
The world marathon record holder, who was aiming to win her fourth Flora London Marathon title on Sunday 13th April, sustained the injury to her right toe while altitude training at her base in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
“I am desperately disappointed that I have to pull out of this year’s race,” said Radcliffe, who was Flora London Marathon champion in 2002, 2003 and 2005. “I love running in London and this race would have been the perfect test for me before the Olympic Games.
“But in marathon training there are no short cuts and there is simply not enough time to be in the shape I want to be in to run well in London. Now I must concentrate on being as well prepared as possible for Beijing.”
While the 2005 world champion admits the injury is a blow to her plans she describes it as “minor”, and still believes she can be in excellent condition for the Olympic marathon on 17 August.
Commenting on Radcliffe’s withdrawal from this year’s race, Flora London Marathon race director David Bedford said: “Of course, it is a major blow to lose Paula from this year’s race but we understand that her priority in 2008 is to be in peak condition for the Olympic Games and we wish her all the best for a speedy return to full fitness.
“Even without Paula we will still have a very strong international women’s field on 13 April and I am sure the race will be as exciting as ever.”
The women’s line-up includes the World Marathon Majors champion Gete Wami of Ethiopia, the reigning Chicago champion and Ethiopian record holder Berhane Adere, Romania’s record holder Constantina Tomescu-Dita, and the veteran Russian Svetlana Zakharova.
In Wami, Tomescu-Dita and the Kenyan Selina Kosgei, this year’s race includes the runners who finished second, third and fourth respectively in the 2007 London Marathon. No fewer than four of the elite line-up have run quicker than 2 hours 22 minutes and seven have run a marathon faster than 2:25.
There is still considerable British interest too in the battle between Hayley Haining and Liz Yelling for a place in the Great Britain Olympic marathon team. The two are separated by just one second on their best marathon times.
The following is a full list of entrants for the elite women’s race and their personal best times:
Berhane Adere ETH 2:20:42
Constantina Tomescu-Dita ROM 2:21:30
Svetlana Zakharova RUS 2:21:31
Gete Wami ETH 2:21:34
Benita Johnson AUS 2:22:36
Selina Kosgei KEN 2:23:22
Irina Mikitenko GER 2:24:51
Ait Salem Souad ALG 2:25:08
Irina Permitina RUS 2:26:51
Emily Kimuria KEN 2:28:10
Silvia Skvortsova RUS 2:27:07
Hayley Haining GBR 2:30:43
Liz Yelling GBR 2:30:44
Adriana Pirtea ROM 2:33:52
Everline Kimwei KEN Debut
Lisa Weightman AUS Debut
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