BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC Sport
 You are in: Athletics  
Sport Front Page
-------------------
Football
Cricket
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Tennis
Golf
Motorsport
Boxing
Athletics
Statistics
Other Sports
-------------------
Special Events
-------------------
Sports Talk
-------------------
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
-------------------
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
-------------------
Around The UK: 
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS

Sunday, 13 October, 2002, 18:54 GMT 19:54 UK
Radcliffe scales new heights

What more can you say about Paula Radcliffe?

We thought she was capable of running quicker than she did in London, and it was just a question of how things went in the race.

There was a bit of concern that she had gone off a little too quickly in the conditions, but as it turned out she just got quicker and quicker.

Paula is an athlete at the absolute top of her form and she can't do anything wrong at the moment.

She is probably the greatest female athlete that we have ever had

Steve Cram

There are no limits for her, no barriers in terms of how fast she can go.

This was only her second marathon, and I think there is more to come, even though that might be the last marathon we see from her for a while.

I am not sure she will do one next year, and it may even be her last marathon before Athens, because the new Olympic qualifying rules mean she won't have to do a qualifying time if she doesn't want to.

It will be interesting to see where she goes from here, and I think she has already got a fairly good plan as to what she wants to do.

But there is nobody in the world at the minute who can touch her at the marathon.

She is still getting to know the event, but she is not frightened of it.

Radcliffe embraces her nearest rival Catherine Ndereba of Kenya
Radcliffe embraces the woman whose record she took: Catherine Ndereba

She prepares so well that she can stand on the start line with 100% confidence as to how fast she can go and not worry about blowing up.

The only question mark as far as the Olympics are concerned is that Athens will be hot and humid but even so, she will prepare for that.

You just hope she can arrive there fit and healthy, because when you look back at careers people are measured by winning Olympic Games and World Championships.

Paula knows that, and I think that is what she wants herself. I am sure she would love to be able to finish her career saying she has won Olympics and World Championships.

Technically she set a new "world best" rather than a "world record" in Chicago, because you can't compare one marathon course with another.

World records are a measure of your progress but somebody else usually comes along to take it.

If you are looking for role models, you couldn't get a better one

Steve Cram

But I can't see anyone beating Paula's time for a long while, apart from her. It is a hell of an achievement.

She is probably the greatest female athlete that we have ever had, but she is not finished yet.

She is going to add more medals and victories to that ever-growing portfolio.

Right now she is probably the most popular sports person in the country, and deservedly so.

She is such a good example. She has got talent but much of what she does is down to huge amounts of hard work and determination.

Paula also does it in style. She is not a prima donna, she doesn't upset anybody, so if you are looking for role models, you couldn't get a better one.


Paula's triumph

Steve Cram

Background features

Have your say

Official website
Links to more Athletics stories are at the foot of the page.


 E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Athletics stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales