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Sunday, 14 April, 2002, 10:22 GMT 11:22 UK
Debut win for Radcliffe
Paula Radcliffe was making her debut in the London Marathon
Radcliffe dominated the field in her first marathon
Paula Radcliffe put in a spectacular display to win the Flora London Marathon on her debut at the distance.

The plucky Briton pulled away from the field after passing the Cutty Sark and never looked back, posting a course-record time of two hours 18 minutes and 55 seconds.

Russians Svetlana Zakharova and Lyudmila Petrova finished second and third, more than three minutes adrift, while Japanese runner Reiko Tosa took fourth place.


I wanted to set the world record, but I'd given everything and couldn't have gone any faster
Paula Radcliffe

The women's race had been hyped as a battle between reigning champion Deratu Tulu and newcomer Radcliffe.

But Radcliffe stamped her authority on proceedings at the seven-mile mark, sprinting clear of her experienced rivals.

With one eye on the clock, she piled on the speed right to the end and crossed the finish line as the fastest ever Britain over the 26.2-mile distance.

Her time was the second quickest in women's marathon history behind the world record of 2:18:47 set by Catherine Ndereba, of Kenya, in Chicago.

Afterwards, Radcliffe paid tribute to her fans, who had turned out in their thousands to help her along the streets of London.

"I felt as though I was running relaxed. The crowd was brilliant around the Cutty Sark and even better at Tower Bridge.

"By that stage I had a two-minute lead, so I thought I might as well push on.

"I wanted to set the world record, but I'd given everything and couldn't have gone any faster. My legs are very tired but the rest of me is really pleased."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's John Rawling
"Paula Radcliffe blitzed a strong field"
BBC Sport's Mike Bushell
Reviews the London Marathon action
Paula Radcliffe
"I knew I was in good shape and could do it"
BBC Sport Online's guide to the London Marathon

In-depth coverage

Winners in focus

Marathon guides

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Marathon sportstalk

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


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