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Radcliffe bold for gold in Olympic quest

Radcliffe bold for gold in Olympic quest

Paula Radcliffe hears plenty of unsolicited advice as she trains for her home country's Olympics.
"People say to me, 'Oh, you should be really careful and just race there or don't race at all in the buildup,'" the marathon world-record holder said Friday. "I've done that and it didn't work then, either. Sometimes you want to just go with what feels right."
The British star can matter-of-factly tick off all the reasons the 42.2-kilometer (26.2-mile) race at next summer's London Games will be such a singular event in her career. The location, for one.
"And I guess for me realistically as well it probably is my last Olympics, and the other Olympics haven't gone really well, so that's kind of been another reason why it is," the 37-year-old Radcliffe said with no hint of the anguish of her body betraying her in 2004 and '08.
"But at the same time, I think perversely because of what I've been through at the other two Olympics, it's not as big," she added. "A lot of it actually does come down to luck. Stressing over it doesn't do a whole lot of good."
So she'll race between now and the London Games because she enjoys it. No marathons, but shorter distances for sure. And she'll hope for the good fortune of staying healthy enough to put in sufficient training to make it through the Olympic marathon unhindered by injury or illness.
Coming off minor foot surgery, Radcliffe is working to get back into shape.
She's proven again and again that when she's in top form she's virtually unbeatable. The three-time New York City Marathon champ is back in the city this weekend to cheer on "Champions for Peace" runners for the Peace and Sport foundation.
But Radcliffe hasn't won a marathon since 2008. Sidelined by a variety of ailments and the birth of her second child, she raced the distance for the first time in nearly two years in September, finishing third in Berlin but successfully qualifying for the Olympics.
Like New York, the London Marathon has been the scene of much joy for Radcliffe. She's also won the race three times, and it was where she set the world record.
That makes for all sorts of good vibes as she imagines running in front of adoring crowds, chasing that elusive Olympic gold.
"People talk about visualization: I can imagine myself running up The Mall 100 times," Radcliffe said. "It's so easy."


Updated : 2021-04-17 20:53 GMT+08:00