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Tulu says Radcliffe should contest Marathon in Helsinki

2005-05-10

Paula Radcliffe at the World's Best 10 k
© Victah Sailor

Derartu Tulu the two-times Olympic 10000 metres champion, believes Paula Radcliffe should concentrate on running the marathon at this year's World Championships.

Tulu having missed last week's Ethiopian Championships, hasn't the vaguest idea herself whether she will line-up in Helsinki and try and regain the 10000m title she lost two years ago in Paris. But the African superstar is adamant that Radcliffe even though a brilliant 25-laps performer, should settle for the marathon race in Finland.

"That is her best distance and remember the Championships record is far slower than the time Paula achieved in this year's London Marathon," said second in last Sunday's BUPA Great Caledonian Run. "I also have to say just from Ethiopia alone, we have some great 10000m runners and more coming through," added the Tulu surprisingly beaten by Latvia's Jelena Prokopcuka in the Edinburgh 10K road race.

Tulu rattled off the names of Meseret Defar and Tirunesh Dibaba the reinging Olympic and World 5000m champions who she says could easily make the transition to the longer distance.
"Then there's Ejegayehu Dibaba and Worknesh Kidane, they are getting better each year," said Tulu of the Olympic 10000m runner-up and fourth finisher - when she herself was bronze medallist - in last August's Olympic 10000m final.

"I like Paula and think she is a great runner. I'm also sure if she did run on the track she would once again make it a great race," added Tulu, whose 2000 Olympic success and World victory a year later, saw Radcliffe relegated to fourth position. The Ethiopian insisted: "But she should stick with the marathon because that is her best distance and in the past the fastest winning time is far slower than what Paula is capable of running."

Radcliffe herself has already been named in the Norwich Union GB team for the marathon, after running a superb two hours 17minutes 42seconds to set a new womens-only best time three weeks ago in London. But the European 10000m and Commonwealth 5000m title holder, has a burning ambition to win a global track title to rank herself alongside the all-times great, headed by Tulu. Radcliffe is the second fastest-ever 10000m of all-time, the performance


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