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Monday, 24 July, 2000, 16:42 GMT 17:42 UK
Radcliffe ready for action
Paula Radcliffe
Radcliffe ready for action after injury lay-off
Britain's Paula Radcliffe kickstarts her bid for Olympic 10,000m glory on Tuesday night, when she competes in Barcelona's IAAF Permit Meeting.

The world silver medallist, who has not raced since March because of a virus, knee operation and calf muscle tear, is due to take on Olympic champion Svetlana Masterkova in the 1,500m.

Radcliffe, who will run the 10,000m in Sydney, is unlikely to mark her return with a win but is not bothered about victory on this occasion.

"There are still a few weeks to go to the Olympics and really in Barcelona I just want to see what condition I am in," she said.

Gradual

"In training I've been going really well, although I'm not flying. Now I'm looking for a gradual progression, and the 1,500 is always a good race to begin with.

"My recent training has indicated I am injury-free. I don't think I've lost too much by having my start to the season delayed. There's plenty of time to get myself racing fit."

Svetlana Masterkova
Masterkova will present a major hurdle
Radcliffe clashes with European champion Sonia O'Sullivan over 5,000m at Crystal Palace on August 5 and is keen to get one race under her belt before then.

Helen Pattinson, the only British woman to win an event in last week's European Cup, is also in the field.

Quality

Given the quality of the opposition, the Preston woman should better her personal best of 4 minutes 6.27 seconds which she achieved in Nice earlier this month.

Katharine Merry, who has recovered from the hamstring which forced her to pull out of the European Cup when warming up for her 400m race, competes in the 200m.

Commonwealth champion Julian Golding also runs over 200m, while Tony Whiteman competes over 1,500m and Diane Modahl over 800m.

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