Monday December 8, 2003
Paula Radcliffe will finish the year as Britain’s fastest marathon runner after Jon Brown’s failure to achieve the Olympic qualifying time for the distance in Fukuoka, Japan, yesterday.
The Yorkshireman, fourth in the Sydney Olympics three years ago, finished 25th in 2hr 18min 55sec, 3 minutes slower than Radcliffe ran when she set a women’s world record in London in April.
Brown was easily on target at halfway to clock the time he needed to ensure his place in Britain’s team for Athens next summer. But then he became progressively slower and covered the last five kilometres in more than 19 minutes.
Brown has had a tough time with injuries recently, including a bizarre incident in New York last year when he tripped over a competitor’s water bottle left on the ground. But he claimed before this race that he was back to his best form and would achieve the time easily. He must now decide whether he wants to attempt the qualifying time again in London in April or concentrate instead on the 10,000 metres.