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Sunday, 14 April, 2002, 17:20 GMT 18:20 UK
London's best by far
Steve Cram
BBC Sport's Steve Cram says that, despite the hype, the 22nd London Marathon exceeded all expectations.

I know we say every year about it being the best ever, but this time the London Marathon surpassed itself.

The organisers knew that they would at least get a couple of good races out of the field, but I don't think they could've expected what happened.

We all thought Paula could win, but the manner in which she won was something special.

There were a couple of miles where she really kicked hard and we thought: "Hang on, she's got the race under control, does she really need to push on this hard?"


Paula needs to look to the marathon as the area that she will have success on the world stage
Steve Cram
But she kept piling it on and almost ended up with a world record.

Paula was always itching to get away and effectively hit the front at about nine or 10 miles.

She just started running strongly and never looked back and I think there is more to come from Paula in the future.

Paula was coming into this race in excellent shape and it's obvious that her rival Derartu Tulu has not been able to recapture the form of last year.

I think Paula, having had such a fantastic start to her marathon career, needs to look to that as the area that she will have success at on the world stage.

Some of these track people who have moved up to marathon have to be careful of doing too much - not asking too much of their body.

Paula Radcliffe in action
Radcliffe pulled away early and never looked back
To run a big track season, a cross-country season and to try fitting one or two marathons in is asking an awful lot.

In the men's race, Haile Gebrselassie did not win, but if you run 2:06 in your first marathon, you have got to be pleased - on most days that would be good enough to win, never mind come third.

He came up against Khalid Khannouchi at his very best and some inspired running from Paul Tergat as well.

In a way it's almost a good thing because it shows how tough the marathon is.

You can't just take your huge talent as a track athlete and turn it into success at the marathon.

He'll be encouraged by his performance, but needs to understand is that marathon runners are a slightly different breed.

Clearly though, whatever scale you want to measure it in - fast times, the best fields, the biggest numbers - London has proved itself once again as the world's best marathon.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Steve Cram
"London has proved itself once again as the world's best marathon"
Tanni Grey-Thompson and Paula Radcliffe
On winning their individual races at the London marathon
BBC Sport Online's guide to the London Marathon

In-depth coverage

Winners in focus

Marathon guides

Photo Gallery

Marathon sportstalk

Official website
Links to more London Marathon 2002 stories are at the foot of the page.


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Links to more London Marathon 2002 stories

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