LONDON, April 3 - World marathon record holder
Paula Radcliffe has withdrawn from the London Marathon on April
23 due to a foot injury, organisers said on Monday.
It follows her withdrawal from the Commonwealth Games in
Melbourne with the same problem. Radcliffe has won the London
Marathon three times -- in 2002, 2003 and 2005.
Radcliffe said in a media release on Monday: "I am really
disappointed to have to miss this year's event.
"The Flora London Marathon is something that is extremely
important to me and I have done everything possible to resolve
the problem and get to the start line.
"I have to accept that the injury needs a short period of
total rest and I also have to focus on moving on from this and
on my future."
The 32-year-old Briton, who set the world record of two
hours 15 minutes 25 seconds in the 2003 London race, injured her
right foot in training in January.
The injury forced her to withdraw in March from the
Commonwealth Games where she had been entered for both the 5,000
and 10,000 metres.
London Marathon race director David Bedford felt Radcliffe's
withdrawal had always been possible.
"To race when less than fully fit is simply not the Paula we
know and could jeopardise her form for some time," said Bedford.
Britain's top male distance runner Jon Brown has also pulled
out of the race due to a foot injury which has prevented him
from training fully.
"I feel like I have only done two-thirds of the training
needed and I know this isn't enough for London," said Brown.