Paula Radcliffe - Flora London Marathon 2005 (Getty Images) © Copyright
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Foot injury forces Radcliffe's withdrawal from London Marathon

Paula Radcliffe, the World record holder and reigning World champion in the Marathon, has withdrawn from the Flora London Marathon due to a foot injury.

“I am really disappointed to have to miss this year’s event," said Radcliffe, a three-time winner of the race. "The Flora London Marathon is something that is extremely important to me, and I have done everything possible to resolve the problem and get to the start line. I have to accept that the injury needs a short period of total rest and I also have to focus on moving on from this and on my future.”

The same foot problem forced the Briton's withdrawal from last month's Commonwealth Games.

“After she withdrew from the Commonwealth Games 10,000m, it was always a possibility that Paula would pull out of London," Race Director, David Bedford said today. "To race when less than fully fit is simply not the Paula we know and could jeopardise her form for some time. We fully understand that this is the right decision and look forward to welcoming Paula back in the future."

Radcliffe set the current World Record, 2:15:25, in London in 2003.

Britain’s top male distance runner Jon Brown has also pulled out of the 23 April race. Brown has been beset with injury problems over the years and frustrated at finishing fourth in major championships, including the last two Olympic marathons. He improved his six year-old marathon best when retaining his AAA title in London last April in a time of 2:09:31.

Brown said: “I have been suffering from a foot problem recently which is clearing now, but has left me way behind in my training preparations for London. I feel like I have only done two-thirds of the training needed, and I know this isn’t enough for London as I cannot expect to perform to the level I feel I should."

Alice Frith and Bob Ramsak for the IAAF