Radcliffe's record run reinstated
Paula Radcliffe has won the right to have her marathon world record reinstated after the IAAF backed down over its attempts to expunge her time from the history books.
Radcliffe's astonishing time of two hours, 15 minutes and 25 seconds had stood as the record ever since being set in London in 2003, but in September the IAAF voted to recognise only times recorded in single-sex events.
Since London is a mixed-sex race, Radcliffe's was thereby rendered illegal - though she retained the world record due to a time of 2:17.42 set two years later in a women-only race.
The decision provoked a great deal of anger in the athletics community, as Radcliffe's better time had been regarded as one of the most amazing records in the sport.
Now, however, the IAAF has backed down and decided that the new rule will not be applied retrospectively.
"The record will stay," said IAAF Council member Helmut Gigel. "Nobody will cancel the record. Paula's record will never be diminished."
The climbdown means that her achievement will continue to be recognised - and indeed it will be protected, since the ruling will now be applied to all runs in the future.
Without the advantage of using faster male runners as pacemakers, Radcliffe's time could be set to stand for far longer than it might otherwise have done - though the athlete herself denied that running alongside men made any difference to her.
"When I ran that time I was racing the guys, not getting assistance from them," she insisted after being stripped of the record time in September.