Radcliffe plays down injury fears
Paula Radcliffe has dismissed fears over her long-term fitness by insisting she will recover quickly from the injury problems which plagued her during yesterday's ING New York City Marathon.
A tendinitis problem at the back of her left knee hit Radcliffe's bid to win a fourth title, and a third in a row, as she struggled home in fourth place behind race winner Derartu Tulu, Ludmila Petrova and Christelle Daunay.
It marked the end of an injury-hit year in which the British world record holder has undergone foot surgery to remove a bunion, as well as suffering from tonsilitis and a hamstring injury that caused her to miss both the World Championships and world half-marathon championships,
However, the 35-year-old is confident she will return from the latest setback.
"It will go with rest," she said. "There just wasn't quite enough time.
"Actually, I don't know, it's a bit swollen, but I don't think the crepitus has come back. It was more the fact that the whole leg shut down.
"It was something that I'm glad I had before, otherwise I wouldn't have gone to the start line. But they told me there was no way it was going to tear.
"It would just get to the point where there was no way I could bend the leg, which is kind of what happened. And now it just needs time."
Radcliffe added she would probably not have started the race had she not missed so much of her year to injury, and that she would have won had it not been for the tendinitis.
"I knew it was a risk, because if the injury came back then, obviously, I was going to run like I did.
"But I totally believed that if it hadn't come that I had a chance, and I think I could have won the race.
"It wasn't won in a really fast time. I think had things carried on to go how they did the first 10 miles I would have been fine. So, yeah, it was a risk. Like I said, it was probably a risk that I wouldn't have taken had I had a good year's racing.
"But coming into it I had done all the hard work, I just wanted to get out and race. It was here in New York, and I really just had it, when it cleared on Friday, I had a good feeling it was going to work."
Virgin London Marathon race director Dave Bedford last night assured Radcliffe will be a force to be reckoned with at the London Olympics in 2012.
"Paula will be clearly disappointed but people shouldn't think there is no way ahead," Bedford said.
"She's a great athlete who's got plenty of time in her favour. She'll still be a massive factor for 2012."
Bedford also promised Radcliffe a place on the starting line in his race to help her get back into world-beating shape.
"She's got to get fit and come to the start line again and remind people how great she is," he said.
"She can do that in any future Virgin London Marathon race she wants."
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