Athletics: Radcliffe decides to return in New York marathon

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The Independent Online

Paula Radcliffe will make a high-profile return in the New York City Marathon next week.

Paula Radcliffe will make a high-profile return in the New York City Marathon next week.

The world record-holder, whose Olympic dreams ended in tears when she dropped out of the marathon and the 10,000 metres in Athens, will take on world-class opposition in the event on Sunday 7 November, including the Olympic bronze medallist, Deena Kastor. Benita Johnson, the successor to Radcliffe's as the world cross-country champion, is also likely to provide tough opposition despite being a debutante over the distance.

Radcliffe decided to race after returning to her Loughborough home yesterday from a training camp at Flagstaff in the United States. It will be her fifth marathon, with her first three producing emphatic victories.

Radcliffe's performances in those events, and on her debut in the 2002 London Marathon, made her favourite to capture the title in Athens.

Although Radcliffe's world record stands at two hours, 15 minutes, 25 seconds, the New York course is much tougher. The current best performance was achieved there 12 months ago when Margaret Okayo lowered her own mark of two hours, 24 minutes, 21 seconds to 2:22.31.

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