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Paula Radcliffe makes solid marathon return

Paula Radcliffe had mixed feelings despite achieving the Olympic qualification time after coming third in the Berlin Marathon, while Kenya’s Patrick Makau smashed the world record as he successfully defended his title in the men’s race.

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The 37-year-old Radcliffe crossed the line in two hours 23 minutes 46 seconds, behind Kenya’s Florence Kiplagat and Irina Mikitenko of Germany.

It was the former world record holder’s first marathon since coming fourth in New York in November 2009. It follows a difficult period after she finished third in the BUPA London 10,000 in May while suffering with a torn disc in her back before she was then plagued by an overactive thyroid gland which was only finally resolved in August.

However, Radcliffe was not entirely satisfied and told BBC2: “I’m not happy because I would have liked to have run faster and I wanted to win the race.

“My main goal was to race and enjoy it and I kind of enjoyed it. I probably got carried away in the beginning. After the year I’ve had I should be happy with that but I am a bit frustrated.”

Of her chances at the Olympics, Radcliffe was bullish, saying: “I still think that anyone healthy on the start line is in with a shot.

“I need to get away and get fit and healthy. After the training this summer it has been very up and down. If I look at it this way I should be happy but I’m not – I wanted to win.”

Makau clocked a stunning time of two hours three minutes 38 seconds, 21 seconds quicker than the time set by Haile Gebrselassie over the same course in 2008.

“I’m very happy,” said the 26-year-old, who had to hurdle an advertising hoarding just before the line. “I was expecting to gain a lot of experience but not to win. It’s like a new generation starting in the marathon.”

Gebrselassie stepped off the road after 27km and looked like he wanted to vomit as he doubled over in pain, but after a minute he gingerly made his way back on to the course and continued running. However, the 38-year-old eventually dropped out for good between 35-40km.

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Paula Radcliffe makes solid marathon return

Paula Radcliffe had mixed feelings despite achieving the Olympic qualification time after coming third in the Berlin Marathon, while Kenya’s Patrick Makau smashed the world record as he successfully defended his title in the men’s race.

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