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.
The Sistine Chapel is set to be illuminated with thousands of LEDs
Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood
Latest in Sport
Arsene Wenger 18th anniversary at Arsenal: His WORST signings XI during his time with the Gunners
18 things Wenger has still never done at Arsenal
Arsene Wenger's worst signings XI
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Nani: On loan Sporting Lisbon winger admits he may not return to Manchester United
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 35,000 walrus gather ashore on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Former Tory donor Arron Banks ups his Ukip donation to £1million following William Hague 'nobody' comment
£36000 - £37000 per annum: Randstad Education Group: Experienced SEN Teacher n...
This is an unpaid volunteer role. : Belong: We are looking for volunteers who ...
£17000 - £18000 per annum: Randstad Education Group: Experienced TA's urgently...
£100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Group: Supply Business Studies Teacher...