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Commonwealth Games 2002
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Play Denise Lewis Heptathlon BBC Sport

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Athletics Monday, 29 July, 2002, 01:01 GMT 02:01 UK
Manchester's Super Sunday

Sunday night at the City of Manchester Stadium was a wonderful night of athletics.

At the Sydney Olympics they had Magic Monday. This was Super Sunday at the Commonwealths and it was utterly fantastic.

I'm still totally wrapped up in what we saw. Paula Radcliffe got it going, but then we had an incredible triple jump, Mick Jones winning the hammer and then the decathlon...

Paula's run has left me almost speechless. The way that she ran defies belief. I've started calling her 'The Beast' because she is simply brutal at the moment.

It was awe-inspiring stuff.

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The effect on athletics in the UK will be huge
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Steve Cram

Whatever she does in her career from now on, she will never forget standing on that podium with 'Land of Hope and Glory' being belted out by 38,000 fans.

If she goes on to win Olympic gold it won't be the same. It was memorable for me just to be there.

The thing about Paula is that she doesn't look like a superhero and she doesn't act like one.

Everything she has achieved has come through hard work and determination. People around the country can relate to that, and it's one of the reasons why the whole country will be celebrating her win.

My daughter was watching from the stands, and like thousands of other girls, she wants to be the next Paula Radcliffe now. The effect on athletics in the UK will be huge.

Paula Radcliffe
Paula Radcliffe celebrates her win

In this sort of form, Paula could smash the 5,000m world record. With a slightly faster first 500m she would have done it here tonight.

And that was entirely by herself. She didn┐t need pacemakers to run the first five laps for her. She was loving the atmosphere generated by the crowd and they were loving what she was doing.

You have to look at who she beat. Masai is in the top three in the world. She ran an African record for 5000, only last week - and Paula blew her away.

It almost overshadowed the greatest triple jump competition this country has ever witnessed.

I take my hat off to the old Silver Fox. Jonathan Edwards was magnificent.

I'm delighted for him. The challenge from Phillips Idowu was a mighty tough one - he had to jump a world class distance to beat him, and he pulled it off.

I think he'll call it quits after this season. He has now won everything there is to win; he has the world record and he has the Commonwealth title in front of an English crowd.

When I saw his first jump I was worried. But the competition from Phillips drove him on, just as Christian Olssen has in Europe all year.

For a 36-year-old to be at his best he needs something to inspire him. Phillips' huge leap did that, and the crowd reaped the benefit.


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