• Athletics

Radcliffe wins fight to keep world record

ESPN staff
November 10, 2011

Paula Radcliffe has won her battle to have her marathon world record from 2003 reinstated after the International Association of Athletics Federations announced it would be invalidated.

Radcliffe's time of two hours, 15 minutes and 25 seconds, set at the 2003 London Marathon smashed the existing record, but the IAAF intended to downgrade it to a "world best" because she was aided by two male pacemakers.

The 37-year-old met with IAAF president Lamine Diack last month to argue her case, and it appears her efforts were successful after council member Helmut Digel confirmed the record would stand, despite the race being run in a mixed environment. The new criteria will still come into effect next year, but following widespread support for Radcliffe, the IAAF has agreed to allow her record to stand.

"The record will stay. Nobody will cancel the record of Paula. That is sure," Digel told the Associated Press. "Her record will never be diminished. It was not against old records at all. We realise that these performances were excellent performances."

A statement on the IAAF website read: "Following a recommendation by the IAAF competition commission regarding women's world records for road events, IAAF council has approved the continued recognition of the currently existing world records, regardless of the type of race in which they were achieved (mixed or women only) and new records will be officially recognised and ratified only if achieved in women-only races."

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