Radcliffe cleared to race at Olympics
Monday 04 August 2008
Paula Radcliffe is confident she will be fit to run the women's marathon at the Olympic Games barring any further injury setbacks.
The 34-year-old's participation in Beijing had been in doubt ever since it was revealed in May that an MRI scan had discovered a stress fracture in her left thigh.
However, after arriving at Team GB's training camp in Macau, Radcliffe insisted she will line up in Beijing on August 17 providing she suffers no further damage in the run-up to the event.
"I'm racing unless my leg breaks down and I can't run. That's it," she said.
"The whole thing has been a race against time and a nightmare from when it was diagnosed and everything's had to change and adapt to that.
"I'm getting more confident day by day because every day that you run more on it, it gets stronger."
Radcliffe did concede, however, that she has entertained the possibility she may still not make it to Beijing despite so far having battled against medical advice that it would be impossible for the marathon world record holder to compete.
"The aim has always been to start the race. Every day I go out and plan to start the race but I'm running on a leg that could break down," she added.
"It's just the fact that because I've not been running huge amounts at full body weight outside on it, they (Team GB) don't know whether it will get me there.
"The only decision that would be made would be made for me - and I don't want to think about that."
With World and Commonwealth titles already to her name, Olympic gold is the only thing missing from a career that also boasts three London Marathon victories and a stunning triumph in New York last November, her first competitive marathon since a 21-month hiatus due to injury and the birth of her first child.
Radcliffe, though, admitted she was unsure of her prospects in Beijing but reiterated her belief that as long as she made the start, there was always a chance she could be celebrating at the end.
"I feel good. I feel happier even to be at this stage and boosted by that," she said.
"I know from the stuff that I've done that I'm in good enough shape to be here and to be on the start line.
"I don't know, but I'm guessing I'm probably not in two hours, 12 minutes shape. I just think if you put yourself on the start line, you're in there with a chance." The announcement appears to spell the end of reserve Hayley Haining's hopes of making the Olympic Games and Radcliffe admitted she had not discussed the situation with the 36-year-old.
"She didn't want to talk," Radcliffe revealed.
"I do feel bad for the position that she's been put in but at the same time it's something that's important to me. The whole way through I've believed I would be here so I'm not going to give up my place."
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