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I never expected to hold the world record for so long: Radcliffe

James Jose/Dubai
Filed on January 24, 2020
Former marathon ace Paula Radcliffe is all praise for the Dubai Marathon. - Photo by James Jose

Radcliffe's women's world record of 2:15:25 seconds mark set at the London Marathon in 2003 had stood for 16 years until Kenyan Brigid Kosgei etched a new mark of 2:14:04 seconds at the Chicago Marathon last October.

British marathon legend Paula Radcliffe revealed that she hadn't expected her world record to stand the test of time for so many years and said that it was only a matter of time before a new mark came about.

Radcliffe's women's world record of 2:15:25 seconds mark set at the London Marathon in 2003 had stood for 16 years until Kenyan Brigid Kosgei etched a new mark of 2:14:04 seconds at the Chicago Marathon last October.

And Radcliffe, who won the London Marathon in 2002, 2003 and 2005 apart from clinching gold at the World Championship in Helsinki in 2005, had felt an inkling of what was to transpire after watching Kosgei at the Great North Run just a month prior to the new world record being set. "I think when I saw Brigid Kosgei running in the Great North Run prior to Chicago, I knew that she was in shape to be able to beat the time," Radcliffe told the Khaleej Times on Friday.

As always, Radcliffe was in Dubai to attend the 21st edition of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon.

"You never expect to hold a world record even as long as I did but certainly not forever. So, it is always a matter of time until it is beaten," she added.

The 46-year-old Radcliffe also did the commentary for the race and felt that it was a great day of racing. Ethiopian Olika Adugna Bikila won the men's title while countrywoman Worknesh Degefa Debele won the women's title.

"Again, we saw excellent racing," felt Radcliffe. "Every year, the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon produces usually very fast times and very good racing.†

"Today (Friday), because of the conditions maybe, the times were not so fast. But still, it was very impressive racing and it was exciting to watch. Getting to see so many men coming into the final 300-400 metres together, produced a very, very exciting finish. And good wins and first and second for debutants in Dubai.

"Dubai is always known for bringing through the debutants with a good race. On the women's side, I think Worknesh went out very bravely and very strongly.†

"She paid the price (recurrence of a back problem) a little bit in the second half but still managed to have a very dominant victory," added Radcliffe.

Radcliffe also paid a glowing tribute to Dubai after the city put on another good show. "I think it is the support, the course and the organisation. It is second to none," Radcliffe said about what makes the Dubai Marathon so special.

"It is a very fast course and conditions are usually good. The organisation is really strong so it helps the athletes to not have to worry about anything else other than their performance.†

"And now, we are in the 21st year. Year upon year, it builds reputation and standing. So, now, it is the place to come in January if you are running well," she added.

james@khaleejtimes.com


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