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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 December, 2003, 21:03 GMT
Radcliffe eyes Olympic marathon
Paul Radcliffe crosses the finishing line
Radcliffe is the first woman to win the European title twice
Paula Radcliffe has said she is likely to choose going for gold in the marathon in next year's Olympics in Athens rather than running the 10,000m.

But the world marathon record holder said she wanted to keep her options open as long as possible.

"The first event I'd like to do is the marathon," said Radcliffe at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards.

"I'm leaning towards that. But I'd like to be entered for both so I can run in the event I'm in the best shape for."

Radcliffe finished her year in style by winning her second European Cross Country title in Edinburgh.

Turkey's Elvan Abeylegesse pushed the British athlete all the way but Radcliffe finally broke free on the final hill to finish comfortably clear.

Radcliffe crossed the line in a time of 22 minutes and four seconds with Abeylegesse nine seconds behind.

Radcliffe first won the title five years ago and the 29-year-old became the first women to win it for a second time.

Hungary's Aniko Kalovics was a distant third with Ireland's Sonia O'Sullivan fourth with another Briton Hayley Yelling fifth.

The win helped secure a first-ever team victory for Britain.

Ukrainian Sergiy Lebid joined Portugal's Paulo Guerra in the record books as a four-time winner of the men's title.

In his first cross country race of the winter season Lebid scored a runaway success, winning by 21 seconds over the 10,000-metre course.

Lebid became the first runner to claim three successive titles after breaking away on the penultimate lap.

Spain's JC de La Ossa crossed the line second in 31:08 with Eduardo Henriques claiming third for Portugal in 31:15.

In a nail-biting team race, France claimed victory over Spain on countback after both finished with 47 points. Portugal were third with 65 and Great Britain seventh on 126.

Latvia's Inna Polushkina won the junior title in a time of 15:33.

Serbia's Snezana Kostic was second with defending champion Charlotte Dale in bronze medal position.

Dale's performance was very creditable given the injury problems she has suffered over the past year and the 19-year-old's placing helped Britain to the team title.

Russia dominated the junior men's division with twin brothers Yevgeniy and Anatoliy Rybakov taking gold and silver.

Yevgeniy put in a terrific final burst of speed to ensure that he retained his title but the pair were so close that they were credited with the same time of 20:52.

Their compatriot Aleksey Reunkov claimed third place.


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Paula Radcliffe
"I couldn't have done it without the support"



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