Athletics: Middle-distance tests for Holmes and Radcliffe

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The Independent Online

Kelly Holmes and Paula Radcliffe take part in 1500 metres races on different sides of the Atlantic this weekend, before deciding whether to help Britain's women regain their European Cup status in Leiria, Portugal, later this month.

Kelly Holmes and Paula Radcliffe take part in 1500 metres races on different sides of the Atlantic this weekend, before deciding whether to help Britain's women regain their European Cup status in Leiria, Portugal, later this month.

Both say the European Cup is in their plans, but neither is likely to commit until they are certain they are suitably prepared. Radcliffe is taking part in today's Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, where she faces the woman Holmes beat to the Olympic gold last summer, Tatyana Tomashova, and the Olympic 800m bronze medallist, Jolanda Ceplak.

It is four years since the world marathon record holder ran the 1500m, and she is likely to better her personal best of 4min 05.37sec in such company.

Holmes races at the Norwich Union International in Glasgow tomorrow against Yelena Zadorozhnaya, who was fourth in the Olympic 5,000m.

Three of the four victorious sprint relay team from Athens are also in Glasgow. Jason Gardener and Mark Lewis-Francis run the 100m in this match against United States and Russian teams, and Marlon Devonish runs in the relay. Darren Campbell will not appear. No reason has been given for his absence.

Gardener, who won a third European indoor 60m title in March, had his first outdoor run-out on Monday in Kalamaki, where he won in 10.17sec. Lewis-Francis ran 10.40 in Milan on Wednesday.

The opposition is headed by the former Olympic and world champion Maurice Greene, who has run 10.03sec this season.

The American-turned-Briton Malachi Davis looks capable of winning the 400m against his British rival Daniel Caines, who has recovered from the knee injuries that undermined his Olympic campaign last summer.

The Scottish hammer thrower Shirley Webb will be hoping to make an impact on home soil against a field that includes three women who have thrown over 70m, including Russia's Olympic champion, Olga Kuzenkova.

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