Radcliffe Not Retiring

Paula Radcliffe will keep on running Credit: Picture: John Giles/ PA Wire

Cheshire athlete Paula Radcliffe has promised to keep on running despite having her National Lottery funding withdrawn.

The marathon world record holder heads a group of senior athletes, including Southport's former European silver medallist Michael Rimmer, who have been removed from the World Class Performance Programme for 2013.

Radcliffe missed the London 2012 Olympics with a foot injury and has only raced one marathon since 2009. Even she admits she wasn't surprised.

Speaking on Twitter, she said: "Just to clarify I am very grateful for the support Lottery Funding gives us athletes and fully expected to see it withdrawn.

"Retirement is definitely not in any plans! I'm not doing all this cross training and getting this foot healthy and strong for nothing!"

UK Athletics say athletes had left the funding programme either because they had not met performance targets or because they were not deemed to be medal contenders for the next Olympics.

That means bad news for marathon runner Mara Yamauchi, veteran sprinters Marlon Devonish and Mark Lewis-Francis, European 400m hurdles champion Rhys Williams, Commonwealth 1500m bronze medallist Steph Twell, former world 400m silver medallist Nicola Sanders and 800m runner Marilyn Okoro.

But it opens the door for Liverpool's rising heptathlon star Katarina Johnson-Thompson, who has had her funding increased as a result.