Top marathoner Radcliffe in doubt for marathon in Beijing

Posted on May 23, 2008 by

From the AP LONDON — World-record holder Paula Radcliffe might not compete in the marathon at the Beijing Olympics because of a stress fracture in her left thigh bone.

“It’s going to go down to the wire, and I will need a bit of luck,” Radcliffe said Thursday.

A recent MRI scan revealed a low-grade stress fracture that also affects her hip. Still, the Englishwoman said she’s hoping to compete in the Olympic marathon on Aug. 19.

Radcliffe said learning of the fracture was a “bombshell,” but said she was determined not to give up despite being told by some specialists that it would be difficult to get in enough training ahead of the event.

“Everything has been with Beijing in mind. It’s been a huge focal point and it’s hugely important to me,” Radcliffe said. “I’m thinking positive. I am looking at it as 90-100 percent that I will be in Beijing. Other people will put it a lot lower. I can do it.”

Radcliffe said she was annoyed that two previous MRIs failed to spot the problem.

“There’s a huge amount of frustration — I could have been on crutches earlier rather than walking around on it — but people are doing their job the best they can,” Radcliffe said.

Radcliffe hopes to be able to resume running in two weeks. She’ll be swimming and cross training until she can begin running.

“I’m doing everything I can to accelerate the bone healing,” Radcliffe said.

At the 2004 Athens Olympics, Radcliffe failed to finish the marathon despite being a favorite.

After having a child, she had a toe injury in September 2007 but went on to win the New York City Marathon two months later. The injury flared again, forcing her to miss the London Marathon. In 2003, Radcliffe set the record at the London Marathon in 2 hours, 15 minutes, 25 seconds. Beijing would be her fourth Olympics.

Posted in: Marathons