Athletics: Radcliffe prepares in isolation for double date in Helsinki

He believes the marathon world record holder is entitled to spend the final week of her preparations for the championships away from the British team's holding camp in Turku.

Radcliffe, 31, will race in the 10,000m final on Saturday and intends to run in the marathon eight days later. She will not fly into Finland until Thursday, but Collins stressed: "We've got athletes here at different stages of development. Paula's stage of development is such that she needs to do what she needs to do.

"It would be extremely foolish to turn round and say, 'By the way, while you're trying to win medals in the 10,000m and the marathon, could you just come down and be an inspiration to these guys as well?' "

Opinion is divided on whether Radcliffe - who so traumatically failed to finish the marathon and 10,000m events at the Olympics in Athens last year - is wise to follow her present course. Among the "no" group are the former world mile and 1500m record holder Steve Cram, Grete Waitz, who won the first women's world marathon title in 1983, and the former world 10,000m champion Liz McColgan, who has said - with characteristic directness - that Radcliffe would be "stupid to do both".

Those in favour of her schedule include the former Olympic 10,000m champions Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia and Lasse Viren of Finland.

Collins is adamant that Radcliffe knows what is best for herself at such a crucial time. "I'm certain that's been considered and thought through and through, then put into the plan," he said.

Christian Malcolm, whose performances this season have established him as Europe's top 200m performer, requires treatment on a pelvic injury that will delay his arrival for the World Championships.

Malcolm, the winner of the European Cup event in 20.15sec this season, will seek medical help in Cardiff this week before flying out to Finland at the weekend.

Other absentees from practice this week at the British camp in Turku, 90 minutes' drive from Helsinki, are the team captain Darren Campbell, who is still recovering from tonsillitis, and Chris Lambert, who must prove his fitness after having a hernia operation three weeks ago.

Collins nevertheless believes that the squad is looking "pretty damn good".

"The absences have been unfortunate because all the athletes in the relay teams were committed to coming here," he said.

"In the circumstances it was unavoidable and we have done practices without them. We've had three of the strike four from Athens out on the track and I know relay coaches Mike McFarlane and Clarence Callender have done an excellent job. We've done as much as we possibly could and we'll be looking at the possible insertion of one athlete into what is already a well-drilled outfit."

The circumstances could also benefit Craig Pickering, the 18-year-old whose performance in winning the European Junior 100m in Kaunas, Lithuania, last month was rewarded with a call-up to the senior squad.

Jan Zelezny, three times a world and Olympic javelin champion, has announced that he will miss these World Championships for the first time since 1987 because of an Achilles tendon injury. The news comes a day after Asafa Powell, the world 100m record holder, confirmed his absence because of injury.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist / Physio / Osteopath

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for o...

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager / Sales Executive - Contract Hire

£35000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leader provides c...

Recruitment Genius: Project Coordinator

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - Midlands

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most