Radcliffe books her place for London 2012

PAULA RADCLIFFE sealed her place in the Great Britain squad for next year’s Olympics despite finishing third in yesterday’s Berlin marathon.

Radcliffe, who has suffered various injury problems in recent years, finished in two hours 23 minutes 46 seconds and easily inside the ‘A’ standard for London 2012.

Kenya’s Florence Kiplagat won the race with and Germany’s Irina Mikitenko second but Radcliffe now has almost 11 months to prepare for another crack at elusive Olympic glory

“I’m not particularly happy with the time or the position but after the preparation I’ve had I know next year I can do a lot better,” said Radcliffe, who was also third on her comeback race in London in May after 18 months out.

“It was night and day compared with London. I need to race more and get into that racing spirit. Anybody who is healthy on the start line (at the Olympics) is in with a shot.

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“Florence has run really well and obviously has a lot of talent, there are always new people coming through. But the marathon is a discipline that needs to be respected, that’s why it’s so hard to predict in championships.

“All we can do is try to make sure we are 100 per cent on the start line.”

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Fellow Briton Scott Overall clocked 2hrs 10mins 55secs on his marathon debut to finish fifth as Kenya’s Patrick Makau won the men’s race in a new world record of 2:03.38.

The 28-year-old Londoner turned to the marathon a few months ago after becoming disgruntled annoyed with his displays on the track, but now has the Olympic qualifying time as well.

“I’ve run the time, it doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going (to London), but I’d like to think so and it would be an amazing honour to run the Olympics in London, my home town,” said Overall.

“I’ve always run well on the road and I think I’ve found my event now.”

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