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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 July 2006, 12:03 GMT 13:03 UK
Pregnant Radcliffe to miss Euros
Paula Radcliffe
Radcliffe won marathon gold at the 2005 World Championships
Paula Radcliffe will not defend her European Championships 10,000m title in Gothenburg next month after announcing she is pregnant.

"I'll continue training at the same level but I definitely will not be doing the European Championships," said the 32-year-old British star.

"I'll be four months pregnant by then and do not want to take any risks.

"I won't compete in top-level competitions but will run some low-key races. We'll see how it goes."

Radcliffe, the European 10,000m record holder, has not raced since New Year's Eve due to a metatarsal injury she suffered stepping on a sharp rock in a training run.

She added that "first and foremost it is important the baby is born healthy", and will not make a major competitive comeback until next year - with the World Championships in Osaka, Japan, in mind.

Radcliffe is undecided as to whether to defend her world marathon title - with the Osaka climate unhelpful to contestants in the endurance event - or the 10,000m.

I will return more mature and with the wisdom that is part of being a mother

Paula Radcliffe
"Beijing (the 2008 Olympics) is my long-term goal for the marathon," she added.

Radcliffe is surprised people have questioned whether she will carry on competing after her pregnancy, reiterating her desire to compete in the London Olympics in 2012.

Her foot injury deprived her of the chance to defend her Commonwealth Games title in March as well as chase a fourth London Marathon success in April.

"I want to get back running as soon as possible," she told The Times. "I know I'll miss it.

"My recent foot injury made me realise I was never going to decide to reach the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and then give it up to have children, so we decided to give it a go.

"We are ready to be parents and if you are happy, you run better. I have been competing since 1991, so the rest will do me good and it probably won't do my body any harm to be challenged in a different direction.

"Mentally I will have fulfilled one of my life goals, so I will return more mature and with the wisdom that is part of being a mother."

Her husband and manager is Gary Lough, a former British international 1500m runner.

SEE ALSO
Pregnant pause
11 Jul 06 |  Athletics
Radcliffe targeting July return
24 May 06 |  Athletics


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