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  World Cross-Country, Dublin 2002
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Paula Radcliffe






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Kelly Sotherton
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Paula Radcliffe
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Paula Radcliffe
Katie Richardson

Susan Roberts



1. World XC

2. London Marathon 




3. Commonwealth Games

4. European Championships

5. Chicago Marathon



Paula Radcliffe retains her World Cross Country title

On blustery afternoon in Dublin, Paula RADCLIFFE ran a strong and determined race to retain her IAAF World Cross Country Long Course (8km) title by nine seconds from Deena DROSSIN in second (26:55) and Colleen DEREUCK in third (27:17), both from the USA. This was the first time since 1993 that there had been no African athlete on the medal podium.

As the athletes passed the finish for the first time (after 800m) in the Senior Women's four lap race Paula, Liz YELLING, Kathy BUTLER and Hayley YELLING were all well positioned in the main pack. By the end of the first full lap a group of about 15 had broken away with Paula and Deena Drossin leading the way. By the end of the second lap Paula had broken away with three other athletes including Drossin, with Liz, Kathy and Hayley all retaining positions in the top 30. By the end of the third lap Paula and Drossin had broken away and Paula began to open up a lead going into the fourth lap and ran strongly to pull away from Drossin and Colleen De Reuck who led the USA to a team Silver medal.  

The Norwich Union GB Team finished fifth in the team competition and first European nation with 69 points just two points behind Japan in fourth (67points).

After the race Paula said:

"Retaining my World Cross Country title means a lot to me. It's always a tough race to win and I was not prepared to give the title up. It definitely feels as good as last year. Last year was special because it was a really tough race but the victory this year is certainly not less important.

"It was very tough today running into the wind. I knew it would turn into a tough person's race and that I couldn't run from the front all the way. The race went to plan, which was to test it on the third lap and run really hard on the fourth. I probably expected more of a challenge from the Kenyans and Ethiopians but Deena ran a good race.

I was working really hard to the line. Somebody shouted that Deena was only two to three metres behind me so I was surprised when she wasn't there at the finish. The crowd was amazing on the home straight.

I was more confident coming into the race after winning last year, but I knew it was my race to lose. I have had a slight niggle this week which has made it emotionally a tough week, however my main concern was that the niggle did not effect my preparations for the London Marathon. The race shows me that I'm strong. I knew my training at Albuquerque had gone really well."  





The conditions were generally good with the course at the Leopardstown Racecourse consisting of a mixture of flat running, hills, gentle inclines and downhill sections. The wind was also a factor, especially on the finishing straight.