Ethiopian athlete Haile Gebrselassie beat Loughborough’s Paula Radcliffe in a half-marathon challenge at the Vienna city marathon today.
38-year-old Radcliffe, who had started with a 7min 52sec lead on Gebrselassie finished in 1hr 12:03 – almost 12 minutes after the two-time 10,000m Olympic gold medallist. Radcliffe’s best half-marathon time is 1:06:47.
She blamed a recent illness for what she saw as a poor result.
"It didn't go well for me, I already didn't feel well after the sixth or seventh kilometre but... I really wanted to finish, even though it wasn't such a good time," she said in German, which she studied at university.
"I hoped Haile would overtake me in the 20th, or the 19th kilometre but it was earlier than that. I'm sorry I couldn't give more today."
Radcliffe said she was still on antibiotics after a bout of bronchitis in recent weeks, "but that should maybe take off one minute, not two or three."
Close to 36,000 runners from over 110 nations took part in the Vienna race this year, according to organisers.