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Last Updated: Sunday, 21 September, 2003, 10:40 GMT 11:40 UK
Radcliffe wins Great North Run
Paula Radcliffe
Paula Radcliffe continued her storming comeback by destroying a top-class field to win the Great North Run in a world-best time.

Radcliffe surged clear after the five-mile mark and kept up a blistering pace to complete the 13.5-mile half marathon course from Newcastle to South Shields in 65 minutes and 40 seconds.

Her main rivals, 2001 winner Susan Chepkemei and world 10,000m champion Berhane Adere, were left to contest second and third, with Ethiopian Adere setting a new personal best as she finished 20 metres clear of the Kenyan.

Ireland's Sonia O'Sullivan, who won the race last year, came home in fourth place.

South Africa's Hendrick Ramaala beat Kenya's Jackson Koech in a sprint finish to win the men's race in 60:01, and Ukraine's Sergiy Lebid overhauled 2002 winner Paul Kosgei to take third.

David Weir took victory in the men's wheelchair race in an unofficial time of 45:41.

And Gunilla Wallengren finished in just outside 48 minutes to take the women's race for the third year in a row.

I was running as fast as I could and I got a shock when I saw the clock
Paula Radcliffe

It was Radcliffe's third victory in as many weeks since her return from a five-month injury lay-off, following her wins in the Nike 10k race and the 5km Flora Light Women's Challenge.

The world marathon record holder, who missed the world championships due to a leg injury and bronchitis, was in a group of seven runners who went clear of the field early on.

The pace was too much for Ireland's Sonia O'Sullivan - last year's winner - and Ethiopia's Derartu Tulu, who had dropped back by the three-mile mark and came in fourth and fifth respectively.

After six miles Radcliffe was clear of Chepkemei and Adere and about one and a half minutes inside the course-record time she set three years ago.

Her finishing time was four seconds faster than the time set by Chepkemei in Lisbon two years ago.

Ramaala missed out on breaking Kosgei's course record - and a 5,000 bonus - in the men's race by just three seconds.

Mark Steinle was the top British finisher in seventh position, showing he was back to full fitness after a long injury lay-off by finishing in 62:55.

Paula Radcliffe
"I didn't think about time, I just enjoyed the race"

Great North Run photos
21 Sep 03  |  Photo Galleries

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