Paula Radcliffe’s 2003 world record no longer stands

Paula Radcliffe's 2003 marathon world record is now only a world's best following rule change by the IAAF

paula radcliffe
Radcliffe's 2003 marathon world record is now only a world's best Photo: Hydrox, via Wikimedia

paula radcliffe

Paula Radcliffe’s world record set in the 2003 London Marathon will no longer stand – but the veteran British long-distance runner still tops the all-time list despite changes by the sport’s governing body.

The changes, made by the IAAF at the recent World Championships in South Korea, state that times only achieved in all-women competitions will be classified as world records, leaving Radcliffe’s 2003 effort of two hours, 15 minutes and 25 seconds, to be referred to as a “˜world best’.

But that means that the 37-year-old’s London Marathon time of 2:17.42, set in 2005, is now the world record.

The World Marathon Majors (WMM) and the Association of International Marathons (AIMS) made a statement following the decision, saying they did not believe the changes represent what is required by the sport of road running.

The statement read: “There should be two world records for women’s road-running performances, separately recognising those achieved in mixed competition and women’s-only conditions.

“AIMS and WMM will continue to acknowledge both types of performances as world records and will discuss this matter further with the IAAF.

“The vast majority of women’s road races throughout the world are held in mixed conditions. The current situation where the fastest time is not now recognised as a record is confusing and unfair and does not respect the history of our sport.”

Radcliffe has labelled the change as “unfair”, saying that the criteria should have been set out earlier on.

“I think it is a decision that is going to be hard to fully enforce,” she told Runner’s World. “Look at how many national and area records are set in mixed races.

“I also think it is a little unfair. If they were going to make that rule, it should have been so from the beginning when world records came in on the roads. Now it is messy.”

© Sportsbeat 2011

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