Changing China

Giant on the move

A long road back for Radcliffe

August 17, 2008

Radcliffe in agonyI respect Paula Radcliffe for finishing the Olympic marathon, especially since she was clearly in agonising pain, but I don’t understand her decision to race in the first place.

The Olympics seem to be an excuse for thinking you can do anything to your body without paying a price. But there is a price and the problem is that athletes pay it once the cameras stop rolling.

During my time as an athlete I had a stress fractured femur, the same injury Radcliffe had to overcome.

It was just horribly painful. Once it had healed, a process that took about eight weeks, I could run just two minutes and increase my workload by two minutes every two days.

It was a long road but I bet Paula will now have an even longer road to get back to full recovery … and it’s just beginning.

“I was trying to achieve the impossible because the amount of running I had done wasn’t enough and you can’t take short-cuts in the marathon,” said the 34-year-old said, who has not ruled out one more try for an Olympic medal at London in 2012, where she could expect great support from the home crowd.

“We’ll keep fingers crossed for 2012,” she added.

NOTE: Balazs Koranyi was an Olympic semi-finalist in the 800m at the 1996 and 2000 Games for Hungary and since 2004 has been a correspondent for Reuters.

PHOTO: Paula Radcliffe of Britain approaches the finish line of the women’s marathon at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in the National Stadium August 17, 2008. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

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