Radcliffe back on track

Last updated at 10:06 13 May 2004

Paula Radcliffe will run her first track race next month since winning the European Championships 10,000 metres title in August 2002.

Radcliffe will chase the Olympic qualifying time of 31 minutes 45 seconds for the distance at the Norwich Union British Grand Prix in Gateshead on June 27.

The Bedford star has not ruled out contesting the 10,000m at the Athens Olympics despite singling out the marathon as her favoured event.

Comeback trail

Radcliffe will also be making her first appearance in a British stadium since winning the Commonwealth Games 5,000m gold medal in Manchester 20 months ago.

"It's been a long time since I raced on the track in the UK and I have really missed it," said Radcliffe.

"Gateshead will be a welcome return," added Radcliffe who won over 3,000m on her last appearance at Gateshead three years ago.

Radcliffe, who has never before contested a 10,000m race on British soil, said: "The standard of the Norwich Union British Grand Prix event is always very high, so Gateshead will be a good test and an important stepping stone for the Olympics."

The European record-holder, with a time of 30:01.09 when she claimed her European gold medal in Munich, is capable of running the fastest ever time on British soil.

South African Elana Meyer holds the fastest time on British soil which she set when registering a UK all-comers record of 30:52.51 at the IAAF World Cup final 10 years ago at Crystal Palace.

The Gateshead meeting will also be the first race for Radcliffe since recovering from a leg operation in late March.

Her last appearance came when finishing second in a 10 kilometres road race in Puerto Rico on February 29 while unaware she was carrying the injury.

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