The marathon world-record holder has been hampered by a foot injury.
Both The Telegraph and BBC Sport reported on Sunday afternoon that marathon world-record holder Paula Radcliffe failed a fitness test this weekend and will not compete in next Sunday’s Olympic Marathon.
The Telegraph’s Simon Hart says that Radcliffe has been afflicted by a flare-up of a painful osteoarthritis condition in her left foot since the end of June and was unable to rehabilitate the injury in time to take the starting line for next Sunday’s race.
“This is obviously a disappointing day for Paula and our sport, but it was important to her that if she made the start line it would be in the best possible shape,” said Charles van Commenee, team leader for UK Athletics. “It wasn’t meant to be and she has taken the right decision to withdraw at this stage.”
The conclusion of the release included a long statement from Radcliffe, which read, “For details on my foot…yes that joint is degenerative and badly damaged. The same foot that I was told in 1994 I would never run on again! I refused to believe it then and I don’t believe now that it can’t recover and be carefully managed to allow me to still do what I love to do. Unfortunately though, that isn’t going to happen in one week.”
Radcliffe, who set the still-standing marathon world-record mark of 2:15:25 at the 2003 London Marathon, has taken part in four Olympic Games (London would have been her fifth), but has never medaled. At Atlanta in 1996 she finished fifth in the 5,000 meters and four years later in Sydney she placed fourth in the 10,000. In the past two Olympic Games, however, Radcliffe has faced disappointment, finishing 23rd at the Olympic Marathon in Beijing, hampered by an injury to her femur. At the Athens Games in 2004 she was a DNF in both the marathon and the 10,000 meters.