She's back

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It is said that the mark of a truly great athlete is to be found not in how they respond to victory, but how they recover from defeat. Paula Radcliffe's defeat in the Olympics earlier this year was comprehensive. The record-breaking favourite for the women's marathon, and Britain's most feted athletics star, slumped by the wayside in tears, beaten by the Athens heat.

It is said that the mark of a truly great athlete is to be found not in how they respond to victory, but how they recover from defeat. Paula Radcliffe's defeat in the Olympics earlier this year was comprehensive. The record-breaking favourite for the women's marathon, and Britain's most feted athletics star, slumped by the wayside in tears, beaten by the Athens heat.

Many wondered whether she could recover from such a bitter blow. Some suggested that her psychology lacked that vital ingredient found in all winners. But Radcliffe's victory in yesterday's New York marathon has silenced the critics and demonstrated exactly what she is made of: the stuff of champions.

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