searching for gold in Veracruz
9 November 2000 - Britain's leading distance runner, Paula Radcliffe, is determined to win her first senior world title at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Veracruz this Sunday.
Radcliffe, who finished a disappointed fourth in the 10,000m Olympic final, bounced back to win the Bupa Great North Run on October 22, in superb style. Not only did she hand Kenya's Tegla Loroupe a rare defeat but she also smashed the European half marathon best with a time of 67:07.
It was following that excellent performance that Radcliffe decided to postpone her holiday and extend her racing season. "I heard before the Great North Run that there was still a vacant place on the team," said Radcliffe. "I told the selectors that I would make my decision after the Great North Run. But after my performance there I felt it would have been silly not to try and win the gold medal in Veracruz. It will be a good way to finish the year off by trying to win a major world title," she said.
Radcliffe, who won the silver medal over 10,000m at the 1999 World Championships and was a World Cross Country junior champion back in 1992, is not ready to abandon the track for the roads just yet though. "I am constantly asked about moving up to the marathon, but I don't feel I have fulfilled my potential on the track. I will run a marathon sometime but now, my main aim is to win the 10,000m at the next World Championships in Edmonton."
If she wins on Sunday, Radcliffe will become the first Briton to win the event since the inaugural edition in 1992, when Liz McColgan took the title.