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  Wednesday, 18 April, 2001, 20:34 GMT 21:34 UK
Tulu rules out Athens marathon
Ethiopia's Derartu Tulu crosses the line for Gold at Sydney
Derartu Tulu crosses the line for gold at Sydney
Ethiopia's Derartu Tulu has postponed her plans to move up to the marathon at major championship level.

Tulu had been expected to run the marathon at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, but she will instead attempt to win her third 10,000m gold.

"The 10,000 is on my mind for Athens," the 29-year-old said on Wednesday.

"The weather will be very hot and it will be harder to run the marathon."


This year I am going to run much faster than last year, my endurance and speed have improved
Derartu Tulu
"After Atlanta (the 1996 Olympics) I gave birth to a child and I assumed that I had lost speed over 10,000 metres," she said. "I decided to run the marathon.

"But last summer I started practising with (world 10,000m champion) Gete Wami and I realised I still had the speed.

"After that I decided I could still run the 10,000."

Tulu said she was now training and racing in spiked running shoes for the first time and anticipated some fast times.

"This year I am going to run much faster than last year," she said. "My endurance and speed have improved."

Tulu's Olympic wins in 1992 and 2000 were mesmerising races.


If I win the marathon it will be the best win yet
Derartu Tulu
At last year's Sydney Games, Tulu produced a startling last lap of 60.26 seconds to win the 10,000m in an African record of 30 minutes 17.49 seconds, becoming the first woman to win a second Olympic distance title.

Tulu has also won three world cross country titles, but missed this year's cross country season with a hamstring injury.

At the moment, however, Tulu is concentrating on Sunday's race and the possibility of her first marathon victory.

"If I win the marathon it will be the best win yet."


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