Paula Radcliffe’s long awaited return to the racing scene, following the birth of her second child, ended in disappointment for the Marathon World Record holder. Reports of a torn disc in Radcliffe’s back prevented her from showcasing her fitness and left her beat by fellow Brit and three-time Olympian, Jo Pavey (32:22), as well as 25-year old British rising star Gemma Steel (32:48) at the Bupa 10,000 in London on Monday. Radcliffe completed the race in 33:17, running a pace she has shown she is capable of holding over the course of a marathon.
Is this the end?
While some may speculate that Radcliffe’s career is nearing the end, the 37 year old, mother of two, is confident that she will return and be ready to compete at the 2012 Olympic games.
According to sportinglife.com, Radcliffe has accepted the fact that she is unlikely to improve upon any of her personal bests from the 1500m up to the 10,000m, but feels it won’t limit her ability to run a fast marathon. Radcliffe will be running a fall marathon to qualify for the 2012 British Olympic team.
Despite holding a seemingly untouchable world record of 2:15:25, an Olympic gold medal in the marathon has managed to escape Radcliffe’s grasp in 2004 and 2008 due to injury and untimely stomach discomfort. Perhaps Radcliffe’s body will cooperate for the 2012 games and allow her to win the gold on her home turf.
If anyone knows how to bounce back after a poor performance it’s Paula Radcliffe.