Athletics: McColgan leaves the track

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Liz McColgan, Britain's former 10,000 metres world champion, has retired from track running to concentrate on the marathon. The decision means McColgan will not attempt to regain her title at the World Championships in Athens in August.

"The track has been part of my life," McColgan said yesterday in Edinburgh. "It's a very hard decision to make not to go there any more but I think my best prospects and talent for the future lie in marathon running and I've just got to accept that being a marathon runner, I can't do anything and everything as well."

The 33-year-old Scot underwent a back operation last week to remove a lump at the base of her spine and felt she would not be fit enough to compete in the World Championship trials in Sheffield at the end of this month.

McColgan, who won a gold medal in the 10,000m at the 1991 championships in Tokyo, was in Edinburgh for the launch of the Great Caledonian Run on 19 October in which she will participate. She will also compete in the Great North Run and Great South Run later this year.

"The three races are ideal preparation for the marathon," she said. "I now firmly believe that this is my one and only distance for the future."

McColgan's next appearance in an international marathon is scheduled for Tokyo on 30 November.