Athletics: Radcliffe fails in bid for hat-trick in Puerto Rico

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The Independent Online

Paula Radcliffe narrowly failed yesterday in her attempt to win a third successive title in the Puerto Rico 10km Road Race in San Juan.

Radcliffe, who won a $100,000 bonus last year for setting a world road 10km best of 30min 21sec, was unable to match her time in windy conditions. She had to settle for finishing four seconds behind the Kenyan Lorna Kiplagat, the world 10-mile record holder now running for the Netherlands, who won in 30:41.

But Radcliffe's time of 30:45 was still a highly respectable one, given that her training is not at such an advanced stage as it was this time last year, just six weeks before she broke her own world record at the Flora London Marathon.

Christian Malcolm may miss next weekend's IAAF World Indoor Championships in Budapest because of a leg injury. The former 200 metres silver medallist failed to finish over the distance at the Gaz de France meeting in Lievin on Saturday when he felt a pull in his right hamstring on the final bend of the race.

"I felt a sharp pain and erred on the side of caution," said the former world 100 and 200m junior champion, who had been confident of his chances next weekend. "Whether I'll be fit enough to compete, I don't know." Malcolm, who had to start his indoor season late because of a hamstring problem, added: "I can't believe this has happened. It was my other leg which was troubling me before."

Things appeared to be turning his way when he produced a winning run at last month's Norwich Union Grand Prix in Birmingham after having to drop out of the earlier World Indoor Trials and AAA Championships after aggravating an injury during the 60m.

There was a less than awesome start to the indoor season for the former world 100m record holder, Maurice Greene, who had intended to contest the world indoor 60m title which he won in Maebashi five years ago, but pulled out of the final of the USA Indoor Championships which serve as trials for Budapest.

Greene, who holds the world indoor record of 6.39sec, was timed at 6.61 as he finished third in the fastest of three heats, and then withdrew from the final because of a painful right hamstring. Shawn Crawford, a former world indoor champion, won the final in 6.47.

The president of UK Athletics, Lynn Davies, is backing a proposal to double the suspension period for athletes that test positive for drugs, but wants a lifetime Olympic ban lifted.