Radcliffe is doubtful
LONDON: World marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe is in danger of missing the Beijing Olympics because of a low-grade stress fracture in her left femur.
”It’s going to go down to the wire and I will need a bit of luck,” Radcliffe said on Thursday.
An MRI scan revealed the injury, which has also affected her hip. Still, the Englishwoman said she’s hoping to compete in the marathon in Beijing 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 impossible to have enough training to be fit in time.
“Everything has been with Beijing in mind. It’s been a huge focal point and it’s hugely important to me,” Radcliffe said. “It’s been a nightmare last three weeks but I’m trying to stay calm about it. I’m thinking positive. I am looking at it as 90-100% that I will be in Beijing. Other people will put it a lot lower. I can do it.”
Radcliffe said she was annoyed that her two previous MRI scans had 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. “Maybe I should have stamped my foot a bit harder for a bone scan to rule it out earlier. There is anger at the situation, not a person.”
Radcliffe hopes to be able to resume running in two weeks. She’ll be swimming and cross training in the meantime.
“I’m doing everything I can to accelerate the bone healing and that is generally a two-week period,” Radcliffe said.
Radcliffe failed to finish the marathon at the 2004 Athens Games despite being one of the favorites.
It’s the second time that injury has affected Radcliffe since she returned to racing in September after having her first child.
Beijing will be her fourth Olympics – she competed in track events in Atlanta and Sydney.
Radcliffe had her training schedule interrupted by a toe injury in September 2007 when she finished second in a half marathon _ her first race in 20 months.
She went on to win the New York City Marathon in November, but the toe injury flared again, forcing Radcliffe to miss the London Marathon, where she set her world record time of 2’15:25 in 2003. – AP