Athletics: Radcliffe keeps options open

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The Independent Online
PAULA RADCLIFFE has decided to keep her options open about competing in two events at the World Cross-Country Championships in Morocco later this month.

Radcliffe, who is training in New Mexico, had been named by Britain for both the eight-kilometre and four-kilometre teams at the meeting in Marrakesh on 21 to 22 March, but says she is still uncertain whether to attempt a tough double.

She took the silver medal over the longer distance last year, but is not convinced she will be strong enough to cope with the 4km race, a new addition to the schedule on the second day.

"I asked the selectors to include me in the 4km team only if there was a vacancy," Radcliffe said. "Being honest, it's 50-50 whether I do both races."

Conscious of how tired she felt after her second place behind Derartu Tulu in Turin, Radcliffe is under no illusions about the difficulty of doing the double. "I felt shot to pieces the following day," she said, an indication she may settle for winning gold over the traditional distance rather than risk falling between two hurdles.