5 October 2009
Paula Radcliffe has withdrawn from the Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland Team ahead of this weekend’s IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Birmingham, due to tonsillitis.
A former champion on three occasions, Radcliffe was hoping to make up for her disappointment at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Berlin in August - when she was forced to withdraw from the marathon in the week leading up to the event - by leading the team in a home championship.
Radcliffe said: “I’m devastated not to be able to compete in Birmingham this weekend. The World Half Marathon is a great opportunity for our athletes to compete in front of a home crowd and I’m disappointed I can’t be part of that.
“It’s very important to me to be able to pull on a GB vest and do my best in a major championship, but unfortunately, having developed tonsillitis over the weekend, I’m now on a course of antibiotics.”
Ian Stewart, Aviva GB & NI Team Leader, said: “We’re obviously hugely disappointed that Paula is unable to compete. She’s a former World Half Marathon champion on three occasions and brought a great deal of experience to the team. Had she been fit, there’s no doubt she would have been in contention for a medal, but we have a good team of athletes who still have an opportunity to fight for decent team positions, and I hope we can do that.”
She will be replaced in the team by first reserve Michelle Ross-Cope (City of Stoke).