Paula Radcliffe was yesterday named in Britain's Olympic marathon team despite being on crutches due to a hip injury that has put her ambitions for Beijing in jeopardy.
The 34-year-old, who is due tomorrow to have another MRI scan, which she hopes will give her the all-clear to resume training, was chosen along with Mara Yamauchi, who is based in Japan and recently ran a test marathon in Beijing, and Liz Yelling, Radcliffe's former training partner.
But Scotland's Hayley Haining, who was narrowly beaten by Yelling in this year's London Marathon, is standing by to answer a call if required. "I would be very sad if Paula or anyone else lost their Olympic place," Haining said, "but I would also be very upset if I had to turn a place down because I wasn't prepared."
Radcliffe believes her latest problem is only a minor setback and wants to complete "unfinished business" in Beijing after dropping out of the 2004 Olympic marathon with a leg injury and stomach upset.
Only the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Dan Robinson has been named in the men's team, which will be a huge disappointment for Tomas Abyu. The Ethiopian-born Abyu thought he had achieved the qualifying time in last autumn's Dublin marathon, only to learn it was inadmissible as it had not been measured by a qualified official in accordance with International Association of Athletics Federations rules.
Johanna Jackson, who broke the UK record earlier this year in Australia, has been named for the 20-kilometres walk.
Ashia Hansen, the former world indoor triple jump record-holder, has announced her intention to challenge for a place in Beijing, despite having been unable to reach her previous levels of competitiveness after sustaining a serious knee injury.
Meanwhile, Justin Gatlin, the disgraced Olympic 100m champion, will ask the Court of Arbitration for Sport to ignore his first doping case – a positive for medication he took in 2001 for attention deficit disorder – when it considers his appeal against a four year ban later this month. If Gatlin, who last ran in 2006, is successful, his ban could be reduced to two years and he would be eligible to compete in the US Olympic trials.Reuse content