/ Athletics

Radcliffe ready for Beijing

Updated: Monday, 05 Nov 2007 09:12

Paula Radcliffe will be a warm order to claim gold in China next year
Paula Radcliffe will be a warm order to claim gold in China next year

Paula Radcliffe will turn her attention to the Beijing Olympics marathon following her comeback victory in New York.

The world record holder returned to the event after a 26-month lay-off to win the ING New York City Marathon yesterday, defeating Ethiopia's Gete Wami in dramatic style in Central Park.

Radcliffe, 33, gave birth to daughter Isla in January and would have come back sooner had she not suffered a stress fracture at the base of the spine.

But, following second place in the Great North Run on 30 September, the performance in New York was worth the wait as Radcliffe led from start to finish to beat Wami by 23 seconds with two-time defending champion Jelena Prokopcuka of Latvia third.

‘I think it's a good first step back,’ Radcliffe said.

‘I'm happy enough with that and I'll go away and take my break and get back into training and see if I come out of this before I make any decisions about what I'll do between now and Beijing.

‘Even though I've got just over ten weeks of running training behind me, I'm pleased with how things came together.

‘I'll see how my legs have recovered after my break and decide whether I need to run another marathon before Beijing.’

Martin Lel of Kenya regained the men's title he last won in 2003, and credited his race tactics for overcoming main rival Abderrahim Goumri.

Lel, who won the London Marathon earlier this year at the Moroccan's expense, outkicked Goumri on the final incline to the finishing line. Another former champion, 2004 winner Hendrick Ramaala of South Africa, was third.

‘He (Goumri) was becoming a problem so I tried harder,’ Lel said. ‘I tried to slow down to make things harder.

‘There are many ways of killing a rat. If I try this side and it doesn't work you have to try the other side. That's what I did during the last sprint.

‘Sometimes you can lose, sometime you can gain, so let me try and see.

‘Ramaala and Goumri and the other guys gave me a hard time but I like being a champion.’

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