Athletics: Radcliffe triumphs in the long run
Monday 14 December 1998
Radcliffe, who will be 25 on Thursday, was desperate to end her year on a high note after suffering demoralising defeat in the European Championship 10,000 metres final, where Ireland's Sonia O'Sullivan was a runaway winner.
She did so with a characteristically determined race from gun to tape, which proved too strong for a field which included Portugal's Olympic 10,000m champion Fernanda Ribeiro and Finland's former European champion Annemarie Sandell.
"This was one I really needed to win," said Radcliffe after finishing in 18 min 07sec, three seconds clear of Sandell. "I knew I would be under great pressure, but I kept my nerve and obviously I'm now delighted."
With 800 metres left, the British runner was still being shadowed, a situation which she experienced at the last two world cross country championships.
This time, however, Radcliffe had the measure of the situation, accelerating one last time on the double hill near the finish.
Sandell, who won the European title three years ago at Alnwick, in Northumberland, while still a junior, had no final response but finished a second clear of Yugoslavia's Olivera Jevtic.
"Winning here means a lot to me," Radcliffe said. "It wasn't a soft race and I needed the title. I've had a bad week, but I think it was because of nerves. I always planned to make my move on the double hill, and my plan worked out." Radcliffe's performance also answered a lingering question left over from her disappointing performance at the European Championships in Budapest, where she went from first to fifth in the last lap. That performance was blamed on a virus, and in going to Ferrara she wanted to assure herself her health was clear.
Yesterday's performance will send her in confidence to the world cross country championship in Belfast next March, where she will be hoping to be third time lucky.
Britain's junior men, led home by Sam Haughian, lost the team title to Spain by a margin of just two points.
Latest in Sport
The Premier League is about earning the right to play on the counter-attack - Danny Higginbotham
Chelsea vs Crystal Palace: Alan Pardew seems to be building something special down at the Palace
John Stones to Chelsea: Next season's bumper TV deal means clubs such as Everton can say 'no'
Kevin De Bruyne: Why do Manchester City put such a high value on a player Chelsea rejected?
David De Gea to Real Madrid: Manchester United to 'make goalkeeper suffer' before deciding his fate as Real prepare £29.3m bid
- 1 The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
- 2 Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
- 3 Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
- 4 iPhone 5c to be discontinued, no iPhone 6c to replace it
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs
£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...