Athletics: Radcliffe frustrated by double rebuff

By Adam Szreter

AS ONE chapter closed - barring unforeseen circumstances, the next instalment of the British athletics saga was unfolding.

Roger Black retired following Sunday night's grand prix at Sheffield's Don Valley Stadium where Mark Richardson and Iwan Thomas, joint heirs to his throne, had once again demonstrated that 400 metres running remains in capable hands in this country, while the new women's team captain, Paula Radcliffe, staked her claim to be considered among the favourites for gold in the 10,000m at the European Championships in two weeks' time.

Black was beaten into third place by Richardson and Thomas but nevertheless enjoyed the send-off he was given by the Sheffield public and he reiterated that, in case of injury, he remains on standby for the individual 400m in Budapest despite being snubbed by the selectors in the first place. Given Solomon Wariso's less than wholehearted commitment to the one-lap race, anything could still happen but it seems likely we have seen the last of Black on the track and can prepare to see a lot more of him on television.

Radcliffe's dominant performance over 3,000m, winning by about 50 metres from a field that included the world cross-country champion Sonia O'Sullivan, suggested that her recent stint of high-altitude training in the Pyrenees has paid off handsomely. She can look forward with great confidence to a meeting with the Portuguese world 10,000m champion, Fernanda Ribeiro, in Hungary. O'Sullivan has yet to decide whether to run the 5,000 or the 10,000.

"It's got to be a good psychological boost going to Budapest," Radcliffe said afterwards, "but this race was out of character for her [O'Sullivan] so I'm not reading anything into it. I've done a lot of work, putting in three weeks at 120 miles up there and now I'm really looking forward to racing."

The season began well for the 24-year-old Radcliffe, breaking Liz McColgan's 10,000m British record, and it has gone from strength to strength with victory at 5,000m and second place over 1500m in a European Cup double. That is something she would have liked to have had the chance of repeating at the Commonwealth Games in Malaysia next month, but unless Kelly Holmes fails to return to health in time, Radcliffe will have to settle for just the 5,000.

"I'm disappointed the selectors didn't discuss it with me," she said. "I'm disappointed because they thought I couldn't cope with it. I could cope with it when Great Britain needed the points in the European Cup and I thought the whole object of me doing that was so that they consider me doubling up in Kuala Lumpur. It's a long way to go for one race." Her last outing before the Europeans is a 5,000m race in Stockholm tomorrow night.

As far as Sunday's meeting itself was concerned, there was plenty for the organisers, Fast Track, to feel happy about, although Jon Ridgeon, who takes off his press attache's hat to become the master of ceremonies on such occasions, admitted they were hoping for slightly more than the 11,000 people who turned out on a beautiful afternoon, especially given that it was Black's last race.

"We were hoping for 12,000 at least, possibly as many as 15,000 so it shows there is still much work to do," said Ridgeon, himself a former world 110m hurdles silver medallist. "Considering the weather was so good it was a bit on the sparse side but we can only do what we're doing, and it just shows you can't turn things around overnight. It may take us three years to get there."

Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
The Mattehorn stands reflected in Leisee lake near Sunnegga station on June 30, 2013 near Zermatt, Switzerland
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living