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  Tuesday, 6 August, 2002, 19:43 GMT 20:43 UK
Radcliffe leaves rivals trailing
Paula Radcliffe adds European gold to Commonwealth gold
Radcliffe adds European gold to Commonwealth gold


Paula Radcliffe took 10,000m gold at the European Championships in Munich with a devastating display of front-running.

She shattered the field with her blistering pace, finishing in 30mins 01.09secs to break Ingrid Kristiansen's 16-year-old European record of 30:13.74.

Second place went to Sonia O'Sullivan, who clocked a new Irish record time of 30:47.59 despite finishing 300m behind Radcliffe.

She battled bravely in atrocious conditions but simply could not live with the Briton after the first two-and-a-half laps.


I heard the crowd roaring and thought it might be because Paula was going to lap me as well
Sonia O'Sullivan
Radcliffe won her first major track gold in the 5,000m at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester, and was determined to claim a second at the Olympic Stadium.

She was overtaking backmarkers by lap 12, ploughing on relentlessly in driving rain to take the European title.

Russia's Lyudmila Biktasheva took bronze in 31:04.00. Marie Davenport of Ireland finished 17th in 32:35.11, while Britain's Liz Yelling was 20th in 32:44.44.

Afterwards Radcliffe said: "The aim was to dip under 30 minutes - it sounds silly, but my first reaction was disappointment.

"But having run my lap of honour, it's now sinking in and I'm really pleased."

Radcliffe admitted she may have set off too quickly in testing conditions in her quest to run a sub-30 minute time.

Paula Radcliffe gets a hug from husband Gary Lough
Radcliffe is congratulated by husband Gary Lough
But she said: "I felt good out there apart from between about 13 and six laps to go when I struggled a little before getting it back together."

London Marathon champion Radcliffe now has to decide whether to run in the 5,000m later this week.

She added: "I'm going to have a nice hot bath and a massage, and I'll make my mind up on Wednesday morning.

"I have the Chicago Marathon coming up shortly and it is very important that I am fully prepared for that."

O'Sullivan said: "I heard the crowd roaring and thought it might be because Paula was going to lap me as well.

"I didn't like losing and not by that distance but there is no way I could have stayed with her."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's John Rawling
"Radcliffe's was one of the greatest runs by a Briton"
Paula Radcliffe
"I set off a bit too fast"
See Radcliffe's last lap

Silver medallist Sonia O'Sullivan
"It's difficult to get going when you know you won't win"

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