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Radcliffe named for World Championships


2 June 2009

The UK’s fastest ever female marathon runners Paula Radcliffe (Bedford & County) and Mara Yamauchi (Harrow AC/Second Wind AC) and the UK’s fastest ever female walker Johanna Jackson (Redcar Race Walking) have been selected by UKA for this summer’s IAAF World Championships which takes place in Berlin, Germany on 15-23 August.

World record holder Radcliffe secured her selection based on her victory in last November’s New York Marathon in 2:23:56. The 35 year old was forced to pull out of April’s London Marathon due to a toe injury, but following an operation, she is targeting Berlin, where she will be hoping to regain a title she won in Helsinki in 2005.

Yamauchi, 6th in last year’s Olympic Games, enjoyed a career-best performance when finishing 2nd in this year’s London Marathon in 2:23:12. The 35 year old was 9th in the women’s marathon at the most recent World Championships in Osaka in 2007 in Japan, the country where she resides.

24-year-old Jackson improved the UK record she set whilst finishing 22nd in the women’s 20k walk at last year’s Olympic Games by 17 seconds to 1:31:16 when defeating a high-quality international field to win in Lugano, Switzerland in March.

Charles van Commenee, Head Coach, UKA said: “We have selected a small, but high-quality team for the road events for Berlin. Paula Radcliffe and Mara Yamauchi are both proven performers on the international stage, whilst Johanna Jackson is an improving athlete with obvious 2012 potential.

“As has been widely publicised, Paula has recently undergone an operation and is hoping to be fully fit for Berlin. She is an athlete of huge calibre and she will know if she is in shape to be competitive at the World Championships, we are happy to back her all the way.

“As reflected by the UKA selection policy, we will not be taking athletes along for the World Cup team competition which is incorporated into the World Championships. Instead we are purely targeting individual success in Berlin.

“However, there will be an opportunity for our leading long distance runners to compete on the global stage later in the year when Birmingham hosts the World Half Marathon Championships on 11 October. UKA will select full men’s and women’s teams for these championships and this provides an ideal competition opportunity for those runners progressing towards international level.”