The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Paula sight on Paris 10000m

London: A track gold medal at next year’s Paris World Championships may be all the persuasion Paula Radcliffe needs to run the marathon at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

The women’s marathon world record holder has set her sights on the Paris 10,000 m after years of frustration on the track where she has invariably lost to African opposition at major championships.

“Definitely if things go well in Paris, then it makes the decision easier for Athens — to choose the marathon in Athens,” Radcliffe said in an interview Monday. “Normally you think the track at the Olympics is a little bit more important. But then you think that Athens is the home of the marathon. It will be a very difficult decision to choose between the track and the marathon.”

The Olympic marathon will be run on the course used for the 1896 Athens Games, the first of the modern era. That course in turn was based on the story of Pheidippides, the professional runner who according to legend carried the news of the Greek victory over the Persians at the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC.

Radcliffe, 28, confirmed on Sunday shortly before winning the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year award that she would run in next year’s London Marathon.

Last April she led from start to finish on her debut over 42.195 km to set the second fastest time ever. In October she shattered the world record by 89 seconds in Chicago after winning the Commonwealth 5,000m title and the European 10,000 gold.

Monday she said had planned to run one marathon only next year.

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