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Paula Radcliffe: 'I don't want to be there below my best'

Paula Radcliffe continued: "Yes, I made more commitment than ever in preparation this year, two months away from the three most important people in my life.

Every single athlete out there makes the same commitments, puts their all into their preparation, and sadly I am not the only one to suffer heartbreak in trying to go after our goals. The most important thing is, as I always believe, to know that you did all you could in going after those dreams.

Paula Radcliffe finishing the Women's Marathon at the 2008 Beijing Olympics Credit: Press Association

It is hard to know that had the Olympics been six weeks earlier I could have gone out there and run confidently knowing that I was in the best shape I had been in for a while, but I am by no means the first to experience something like this.

No-one tells us in advance where the limits of our own bodies lie, and pushing these limits is the only way we can ever achieve our highest goals and dreams. However hard today is, finally closing the door on that dream, at least I can know that I truly have tried absolutely everything.

As desperate as I was to be part of the amazing experience of the London Olympics, I don't want to be there below my best. If I can't be there and give it my best, then I would rather someone else who can do that is able to be there."


Paula Radcliffe: 'mine is not a career or a hobby where mind over matter can work'

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. The goal of a fifth Olympics in my home country, what better? The chance to make amends to myself for bitter disappointments at the previous two Olympics. 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.

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. 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.


Paula Radcliffe's record under threat

Paula Radcliffe Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

The world record set by the reigning queen of British distance running Paula Radcliffe will face an unprecedented threat at today's London Marathon.

She sailed into the record books in 2003 running a time of 2hr 15min 25sec - still the women's world record for the marathon.

But that record is under threat from the Kenyan Olympic team who will use today's marathon as a warm-up, the Mail on Sunday reports.

In particular, Mary Keitany is one to watch. Six months ago she looked set to break the record by the halfway-point in the New York Marathon, only to slow down in the second half.

Given the right conditions, we could see a new record today from Keitany or one of her Kenyan colleagues.

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