[QODLink]
Sport
Radcliffe to race in London
The world record holder will warm up for Beijing in her hometown.
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2008 12:35 GMT

Paula Radcliffe wins the New York marathon
[GALLO/GETTY]
World women's record holder Paula Radcliffe will race the London Marathon in April after missing the last two editions because of injury and the birth of her daughter.

The 34-year-old Radcliffe, who has set the women-only and mixed race world records on the London course, will run the April 15 road race seeking to become just the second woman to win it four times.

Norway's Ingrid Kristiansen won four times between 1984-88.

"I love running in front of my home crowd and I know that winning a fourth time will give me just the boost I need before the Olympic Games in August,'' Radcliffe said.

"The London field is always competitive but that's what I need to be at my best in Beijing.''

Radcliffe will be up against Ethiopia's Gete Wami, who she edged by 23 seconds to win the New York Marathon in November.

Wami finished second in her London Marathon debut last year, behind China's Zhou Chunxiu.

The 33-year-old won the Berlin marathon last year to become the first women's world majors champion.

Radcliffe, who won the London Marathon in 2002, '03 and '05, returned to competition in September, seven months after giving birth to her daughter Isla.

Her return was delayed by an eight-week layoff in May resulting from a stress fracture in the bone at the base of the spine sustained during childbirth, but she won her first marathon in more than two years against a deep women's field in New York.

Radcliffe, whose daughter Isla celebrates her first birthday on Thursday, has been training at altitude in South Africa in preparation for London and Beijing.

She pulled out of her only previous Olympic marathon in Athens 3-1/2 years ago with a stomach complaint before bouncing back to win the New York marathon in the same year.

In 2005 she recorded her third win in the London marathon and went on to claim her only global title with victory at the Helsinki world championships.

In London, she will also face Ethiopian record holder Berhane Adere, last year's third-place finisher Constantina Tomescu-Dita of Romania, and 2003 Chicago and Boston Marathon winner Svetlana Zakharova of Russia.

"We are delighted to have Paula back in London and pleased that she has decided to race here again against such a strong field," said race director David Bedford.

"No doubt all eyes will be on Paula as she goes for her fourth victory, but the women's race will be as tough as ever and Gete will have something to prove after losing to Paula in New York."

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.