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Injury-prone Radcliffe loses UK lottery funding

MYT 12:00:02 AM

LONDON (Reuters) - Paula Radcliffe has had her funding withdrawn by UK Athletics after missing the 2012 London Olympics and last year's World Championships because of injury.

The 38-year-old marathon world record holder was removed from the board's National Lottery-funded World Class Performance Programme which has been redefined from backing athletes with top-eight potential to those who are top-three contenders.

Ethiopian world marathon record holder Haile Gebrselassie and Paula Radcliffe of the UK wave to the crowd after the half marathon race during the Vienna City Marathon in Vienna April 15, 2012. REUTERS/Herwig Prammer
Ethiopian world marathon record holder Haile Gebrselassie and Paula Radcliffe of the UK wave to the crowd after the half marathon race during the Vienna City Marathon in Vienna April 15, 2012. REUTERS/Herwig Prammer

As well as providing financial support, the programme offers access to coaches, facilities, medical staff and training camps.

"Retirement is definitely not in any plans. I'm not doing all this training and getting this foot healthy and strong for nothing," said Radcliffe on her Twitter account, referring to the injury that kept her out of the Olympics.

"Just to clarify I am very grateful for the support Lottery funding gives us athletes and fully expected to see it withdrawn," added the former world marathon champion.

"From the beginning I have only ever received medical support which is of course significant and vital. Since funding came in I have seen big differences in the depth and strength of all our sports."

Radcliffe has never won an Olympic medal despite featuring in four Games.

(Reporting by Mike Collett; editing by John O'Brien and Tony Jimenez)

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