Athletics: Radcliffe triumphs in London Marathon, cutting nearly two minutes off her own world record
Monday 14 April 2003
Paula Radcliffe took the women's marathon into new territory yesterday as she retained her Flora London title in a world best time of 2hr 15min 25sec, taking 1min 53sec off the mark she set in Chicago last October.
The 29-year-old Bedford runner led from the start, finishing four and a half minutes clear of Kenya's Catherine Ndereba, who was world record holder before Radcliffe. It was a performance that would have earnt the Briton every male Olympic title up to 1960, and would have placed her 15th in yesterday's men's race.
Radcliffe had feared she might not be able to take part after suffering extensive cuts and dislocating her jaw in a collision with a cyclist while training in Albuquerque, New Mexico, five weeks ago. But her wounds have been helped to heal with regular application of an oil obtained from the belly of the emu, the flightless Australian bird. This ancient Aboriginal remedy had been recommended to the former World and European champion Sonia O'Sullivan, who is also training in Albuquerque, by Australia's Aboriginal Olympic 400m champion, Cathy Freeman.
The defending champion was thus able to extend an extraordinary recent run of success which has seen her win European and Commonwealth titles.
After a day's work which earned her approximately £400,000, she also received the Jim Peters Trophy as first Britain home. The fastest British male recorded 2:17.57.
On a day when all 32,746 entrants observed a minute's silence in memory of the event's originator, Chris Brasher, the men's title went to Ethiopian World and Olympic champion Gezahegne Abera, who won by less than a second from Italy's Stefano Baldini. It was the closest finish in London since the first race in 1981 when Dick Beardsley and Inge Simonsen crossed the line hand-in-hand as joint winners.
* Tony Blair's communications chief, Alastair Campbell raised more than £250,000 for the Leukaemia Research Fund, including a $100 (£65) contribution from President George Bush, by completing the marathon in 3 hours 53 minutes and 6 seconds – well within his target.
Latest in Sport
Chelsea vs Manchester United: Jose Mourinho dismisses United injury worries, saying 'they have an amazing squad'
Aaron Hernandez: American Football in the dock as NFL star player's murderous double life is revealed
Chelsea vs Manchester United: Why Blues are the least popular team in the league
Chelsea vs Manchester United combined XI: Thibaut Courtois or David De Gea? Juan Mata or Willian? Who makes our team?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Where are the tickets for the fight?
- 1 BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...
£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...