Paula Radcliffe

This was, as marathons go - a very interesting race and a great tough win by the Japanese girl Mizuki Noguchi, not to mention Deena Kastor.

But such a sad end for Radcliffe - such a tough girl.

Something was out of place and it was very wrong and very sad to see a world record holder reduced to tears and to sitting on a kerbside in a strange city with no one to look to for help.

Exhausted, confused, dehydrated, alone and all you see is some damn camera man trying to shove a camera up your nose.

The crazy thing was that 2 English people who were along the roadside on holidays there had to go to her, lift her and help her to their car and drive her themselves to the olympic village - discraceful stuff.

Had they not accounted for people perhaps not finishing the race?

Like what were they supposed to do, decide they couldn’t finish the race and then just jog off the road, through the city and on back to the village?

Then you read the reports on skynews and then the readers comments which really got me going … people ranting and raving how she was ‘Another typical British loser’

These are the types of British fans she has …

> ‘She gave up and she was representing Britain. Disgraceful’
> ‘Not completing the course because she wasn’t going to get a medal, totally undermined the efforts of all the other competitors who were just happy to compete in the Olympics.’
> ‘For a top athlete who is representing their country to pull up because they couldn’t win a medal sends out a very poor message to young people. Someone needs to remind Paula that the Olympics and other events, both big and small, are also about the taking part. I think that you could have said she gave it her all had she finished. But she had no injuries, just an injured attitude’
> ‘Judging by the tears, she had plenty of energy left, it was just the depth of character found to be waning’
> ‘Unless Paula’s actions were due to injury, I find it poor sportsmanship that she pulled up just because she fell back into fourth place. I thought she had more spirit than that.’

The Loyal British Views on Paula

Apologies to you true British sports fans and athletes - but some of those commnets are just not fair …

Anyway - that’s the rant over.

Tough Girl and a great athlete,,30000-13201224,00.html

So typical of the British press!

That had to be the toughest marathon I’ve ever seen! I watched the whole thing on TV and thought that just getting to the 20 mile mark was amazing. Would the Brits have been pleased if she’d collapsed instead? What about all the other women who dropped out? I guess they’re all sending a bad message to all the kids too huh?

I thought maybe Paula’s style of leading or being near the front all race long might have been her undoing. Deena Kastor had the right plan IMO.

Since I’m not British I don’t feel entirely comfortable criticising the English/British people, but in this case some of those messages are just discraceful and sad.

I know most people understand the pain of such an event, and those who play sport of any kind understand all too well, which is why I can’t understand the lack of understanding for her.

As for the organisers … well this is the same group who couldn’t get the truck carrying the photographers out of the way of the Japanese runner in time so she was running into it.

By the way - would this have been a diesel van also? The fumes would have killed her if that was the case.

Her expression when the Moroccan athlete went past was heartbreaking - she just couldn’t respnd and for someone as tough as her that must be unbearable.

Matters weren’t helped by the 6pm start - weird when most recent ‘hot’ marathons are usually am - but even then - those hills - no thanks.

as for ‘our’ British press - feel free to get stuck in with projectiles - I personally can’t imagine any true athletics fans feeling anything but concern for her distress or for any other athlete seeing their dream die like that.

I felt so sorry for Paula, the memory of being left exhausted & isolated on the streets of Athens, with her dreams just slowly passing her by, will haunt her for a long time.

Got this quote from the link, apologies for lowering the tone:

“My heart goes out to Paula. I myself was passed by the Pink Panther and Bart Simpson during the Great North Run in 1996. I can only hope that this is some consolation that she herself avoided this humiliation.”

Michael, South Shields

It was one of the upsetting things I have seen in athletics. One of the greatest female distance runners I have seen. She runs as hard as she can every time she runs.

I’m not British, but we Australian are similar (although I suspect not as bad) we pump up our sports stars and when they don’t perform as well as we expect we hammer them into submission.

I hope Paula can continue and win those elusive medals she so richly deserves.

And being Australian it is my right to rubbish the English. :wink:

I think it’s like that in most countries. I used to think Canada was immune to that until I read about Harry Jarome. Then I witnessed it first hand in 1988 with the disgraceful way Ben was treated by the Canadian media.

The most interesting thing here is though that this is the people commenting, not the media.

I saw an interview Steve Cram did with her yesterday and he was very understanding, which was wonderful to see.

The media have been quite good to her in general, so far.
It’s the people I’m shocked by.

Of course we had our own Michelle Smith here a few years ago and only a week before the Olympics Cathal Lombard, so we’re not immune to hanging our own either.

Being Irish we have a greater right !!!

[i]Seriously though I am not usually one to jump to the defense of a British athlete, but the peoples reaction is simply wrong.

Great to see Kelly Holmes though - tough cookie![/i]

The British press can always look for some asshole out there to say what they want to print. and, of course, if they can’t find one, they just make it up anyway.
I refuse to believe that the British people would agree with this commentary, written by a pack of animals.

Agreed Charlie.

I would dearly love to see her pick herself up now get her head straight and go out and blow the 10,000m race wide open.

It would be an incredibly tough thing to do, but really I think she can.

She’s 30 now and it might be her real last chance at a big Olympic medal.

Problem is, what has the marathon done to her. Seems unlikely she’ll recover in time, as she stopped so close to the end. She should only go out there if she’s really 100%, otherwise she just gives more ammo to the pack of animals that attacked her before.

Her preperations and her stopping before the finish should mean she is physically able for it, but will she be in the right state of mind to compete?

Could be her last chance for OL Gold - I hope she is ready to go for it. A bad performance can be attributed to what happened before, a good performance could give her the medal she deserves. If physically recovered, nothing to lose???

You’re right.

The question is how fast can she recover.
Her fitness should be in place.

I’m not familiar with the marathon, so I could be way off mark here …

She had the final 6 miles left to complete, and while 20 miles are already in her legs - the last 8 are the toughest and take the most out of a competitor.

I wonder is this some consolation?

With her backup team, which is very expereinced, and first class, perhaps she could recover well enough and in time to do the 10k?

I really have no idea, but it sounds like a long-shot to me, as she must have intended to run only the marathon once she started that race and pre-race training might have dictated the decision, for, if she were in ideal form for the 10k, you’d think she would have picked it with the insane conditions for the marathon in mind.

Unfortunatley its the other way around, the press have been ok about, in fact quite sympathetic. Its the people that have the problem (not all but a fair amount), theres several threads like this on U.K boards i check and theres a good amount of people who support the views quoted on first page, some are extremley harsh and go even further than those already listed.

Im def on the supportive side and cant beleive some people opinions.

Oh and im scottish…surely I have the biggest right to knock the English :stuck_out_tongue:

People who write into to boards are not really the public at large. Just spend a few minutes listening to the cretans who call into radio shows sometime. Too busy offering their opinions to bother with more mundane pursuits- like employment for example!

I better go back to work then …


Not the peope here, of course! I think we have a pretty understanding group, not in small measure because we are a forum for those who want to learn and exchange training ideas- not those who want to bitch about everything and everybody!