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Sunday, 15 October, 2000, 14:28 GMT
Radcliffe races to Irish victory
Paula Radcliffe
Party pooper: Paula Radcliffe relished the conditions
Paula Radcliffe ruined Sonia O'Sullivan's welcome-home party by winning the BUPA Ireland five-mile race in Loughrea.

It was Olympic 5,000m silver medallist O'Sullivan's first race on home soil since Sydney, but Radcliffe had it sewn up before the first mile was completed.

O'Sullivan surprisingly pushed along the pace before quickly becoming a spent force.

Radcliffe won in 25min 04sec, more than two minutes ahead of O'Sullivan, who clocked 27min 12sec, with Andrea Greene third nine seconds further back.

Radcliffe, hugely disappointed to miss out on medal in Sydney after finishing a brave fourth in the 10,000m, said: "I was surprised when Sonia started pushing the pace along so early.

Tempo

"My plan was just to sit in and probably raise the tempo on the second circuit or even later in the race.

Sonia O'Sullivan
O'Sullivan forced the pace but then faded
"But she immediately put her foot down and I went with her. The wind was really strong and we were in my territory. When she slowed I just kept going. Strength is always likely to win over speed in these conditions.

"Sonia has had a lot of distractions with the pressure of homecoming parties and other official functions. I'm not surprised she wasn't at her best."

O'Sullivan admitted: "It was just one race too many. You don't know how hard it is to pick yourself up at the end of a long season - never mind the Olympics."

The men's race was won by Olympic 1500m finalist John Mayock.

The Yorkshireman overhauled Irish steeplechase champion Cormac Smith at the halfway point to beat the Dubliner by five seconds in 23min 53sec. Noel Berkeley came third in 24min 04sec.

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See also:

11 Oct 00 |  Northern Ireland
O'Sullivan and Radcliffe chase record
30 Sep 00 |  Athletics-Track
Brave Radcliffe denied medal
25 Sep 00 |  Athletics-Track
Szabo sprints past O'Sullivan to gold
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