Athletics: Jones: I Fear for Paula in Athens

Sunday Mirror (London, England), April 18, 2004 | Go to article overview

Athletics: Jones: I Fear for Paula in Athens


Byline: STEVEN DOWNES

THE fear that Paula Radcliffe's best racing days are behind her could be all too real, according to the last Briton before her to hold a marathon world record.

Steve Jones set the world best mark in Chicago in 1984, and won one of the London Marathon's greatest races when he beat Olympic bronze medallist Charlie Spedding in a famous duel in 1985.

But Jones never won a medal in a marathon at a major championship, and as her Olympic date with destiny nears he feels Radcliffe's absence from today's London race is an indication of the sort of doubt that can trouble even the strongest minded of marathon runners.

Jones, now 48, said: "When I was running, I'd race two or three times a week sometimes. You lived for racing. I don't think it helps your confidence if you don't race for long periods.

"Paula has only raced twice or three times since she broke the world record in London a year ago, and her last two results have not been so good. …

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