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Athletics: PAULA'S WORLD IS SHATTERED.

Byline: LEE REYNOLDS

PAULA RADCLIFFE has been ruled out of the World Championships after losing her battle for fitness following bronchitis and shin damage.

The world's top distance runner said: "I'm very, very disappointed because Paris was my main aim for the year. I have had my preparations interrupted and that has left me short of time and training.

"I have come very close, but this week has shown me that I am not quite at the level that I hoped I would be. I have to be realistic and think of the bigger picture and I now have to move on."

Radcliffe plans to return to her training base and reassess her plans for the rest of the year.

She added: "I probably could have coped with one or other of the problems, but both things left me with too much time to catch up." British 1500 metres record-holder Kelly Holmes will be having an urgent trans-Atlantic phone conversation with her coach before deciding whether to compete in Paris.

Holmes admits her participation is not yet certain after losing decisively to Sureyya Ayhan in the Golden League meeting in Zurich last night.

"I'll have to sit down with my coach and see what we can do to get me into top shape," said Holmes.

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RADCLIFFE: Fitness woes
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 16, 2003
Words:220
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