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McColgan: Break will benefit Radcliffe

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Former world 10,000metres champion Liz McColgan believes Paula Radcliffe's long-term athletics future will benefit after she announced her pregnancy.

 

Radcliffe is expecting her first child in January, meaning an enforced absence from top-level meetings, although the marathon world record holder will compete in some low-key events. This absence is one McColgan believes will be advantageous as she looks to extend her career.

 

"I've known Paula Radcliffe has been wanting a child for quite a while and it is probably a really, really good thing for her to do," said McColgan. "It will help her stay focused in the long run and now she has got more chance of running in Beijing in 2008. But most of all, it will make her happier."

 

She added: "It would have been really hard for her to stay focused without a break but six months out will be a mental relief.

 

"Once she has had her baby, Paula will be more determined and have renewed her energy and be really up for it again, and so

many have had babies and come back and done well."

 

The world marathon champion intends to challenge for the 2012 Olympic marathon title with the 2007 world championships in Osaka earmarked for her top-level return.

 

The 32-year-old will then attempt to atone for the only marathon defeat she has suffered by targeting the gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in China.

 

McColgan won bronze at the 1991 world cross-country championships just four months after giving birth to her first child and the Scot believes having a break will give Radcliffe renewed impetus on her return.

 

"Taking a break from the pressure and expectation of athletics and the intensity of training is a great tonic," McColgan told BBC Sport.

 

"Before I had my first child I was getting a bit flat and finding it hard to get motivated. But after I had her, I was eager to get back and prove I was best in the world. As for the practicalities while pregnant, I carried on running right up until the day I gave birth."


 
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