EUROPA CUP, BYDGOSZCZ, Poland -20June04- Radcliffe 3rd AT5k, Lalova 22.58s

BYDGOSZCZ, Poland, June 20 (AFP) - Britain’s PaulaRadcliffe recorded the third fastest women’s time inhistory at 5,000 metres in her first track race fornearly two years here at the European Cup meeting onSunday.
Radcliffe quickly pulled away from the rest of thefield and ran almost the entire race alone beforecrossing the line in 14min 29.11sec, four and a halfseconds slower than the world record of 14:24.68 set byEthiopian-born Turk Elvan Abeylegesse in Bergen earlierthis month.
The only other woman to have run faster than Radcliffeis Jiang Bo of China, who clocked 14:28.09 in 1997.
Radcliffe was however disappointed that she had fallenoff world record pace having been on course until thefinal few laps.
I knew I was in good shape but I wanted to run welland prove to myself everything was fine,'' she said. My aim was to go out and run hard, ask myself somequestions and get some answers.
``I am annoyed that I slowed in the second part of therace because I was on target for the world record up tothree kilometres. This tells me I am in good shape andto run a personal best was all I could have asked for.’’
Radcliffe holds the women’s world record at themarathon and has said she wants to be entered for boththe marathon and the 10,000m for the Athens Olympics inAugust.
Her performance failed to prevent the British women’steam from being relegated to the first division afterfinishing last in the eight-nation Super League teamcompetition.
Russia won the women’s competition and Germany tookthe men’s title thanks to victory in the final event,the men’s 4x400m relay.
Yelena Slesarenko marked herself out as a majorchallenger for Olympic gold in the high jump when shecleared 2.04 metres, the best performance in the worldthis year.
Christian Malcolm was a rare men’s winner for Britainon the second day of competition when he took the 200min 20.56sec while world triple jump champion ChristianOlsson easily won the triple jump with a leap of 17.30m.
In the European Cup first division match in Plovdiv,Bulgaria, Olympic 200m champion Kostantinos Kenterismade a rare appearance outside of his native Greece andwon his event in 20.33sec to prove he is in goodcondition just seven weeks away from the AthensOlympics.
Ivet Lalova, the little-known Bulgarian sprinter whothe previous day had won the 100m in 10.77sec - thefastest women’s time in the event since 2000 - completeda sprint double by winning the 200m in 22.58sec.