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ATHLETICS: Radcliffe keeps selectors waiting until last minute.

Byline: DAVID MARTIN

UK ATHLETICS will know today whether Paula Radcliffe has won her fitness battle to compete at the World Championships.

The world's number one woman distance runner will be looking for her first ever gold medal if she travels to the championships, which get underway in Paris on August 23.

No one,apart from Radcliffe, will know for sure until UK Athletics performance director Max Jones announces the final additions to the British team in a telephone conference this morning.

Even at the weekend Radcliffe,based at her altitude training base of Font Romeau in the French Pyrennees, was said to have not told husband and manager Gary Lough, whether she would compete in her fifth World Championships as she bids to recover from a leg injury and bout of bronchitis.

``Paula asked not be considered for the first wave of selection,'' saidJones yesterday. ``If she does decide to run, obviously we will meet her wishes, whatever race she wants to compete in.''

Jones admits the Norwich Union GB team will be the smallest ever fielded, the high qua lifing standards demanded by the IAAF,having shrunk the size of squads worldwide.

800m runners Jo Fenn and Charlotte Moore, who both ran fast times abroad on Sunday, are likely to be included today. Jones was hoping to take a squad of 50 to Paris. But since the inaugural announcement only a fortnight ago,only 800m man James McIlroy and 110m hurdler Rob Newton,have bettered the A standard.

Having already acknowledged the potential of Ricky Soos, 20, who only has the B standard,it would be a major surprise if they de-selected theAAA 800m champion who beat McIlroy in the trials.

David Moyes has his problems at Everton

CAPTION(S):

Paula Radcliffe is an injury doubt
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Aug 12, 2003
Words:298
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