London, July 30 (IANS):
World record holder Britain’s Paula Radcliffe has withdrawn from the women’s marathon competition at the London Olympics due to medical reasons, the British Olympic Association and UK Athletics has confirmed.
“From the day when it was announced that London had won the bid, taking part and performing well in the London Olympic Games has been a major goal in my life. Through a lot of tough times it has kept me fighting, motivated and focused. That is why it hurts so much to finally admit to myself that it isn’t going to happen,” the 39-year-old Radcliffe was quoted as saying by Xinhua.
Radcliffe has been suffering with a foot problem and a fitness test on Sunday concluded that she would not be able to race competitively to the best of her abilities.
“My sport is a beautiful sport, it gives so much fun and enjoyment, I believe it helps me to be a better person, and I have been very fortunate to experience some great success and have so many beautiful and happy memories,” Radcliffe said.
“However, the downside is that it can break your heart and spirit many times over when your body is simply unable to match what your heart and brain want it to do. Sadly mine is not a career or a hobby where mind over matter can work when your body is hurt, nor where giving less than your best each day can ever work.”
Radcliffe is the current world record holder for the women’s marathon, which she set at the 2003 London Marathon with a time of 2:15:25.
She is also the current world record holder for the women’s road 10 km in a time of 30 minutes and 21 seconds, which she set in February 2003 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
She claimed the world marathon title in the 2005 IAAF World Championships in Helsinki but failed to win any medal in the four Olympics Games she competed in.
Charles Van Commenee, team leader of Great Britain athletics, said: “This is obviously a disappointing day for Paula and our sport, but it was important to her that if she made the start line it would be in the best possible shape. It wasn’t meant to be and she has taken the right decision to withdraw at this stage.”