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Athletics - 11. December 2007.

Radcliffe goes the distance to be European Athlete of the Month for November

Britain's World Marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe has been voted the Female European Athlete of the Month for November after her outstanding performance in the New York Marathon at the beginning of the month.

Competing in her first Marathon since winning the World title in Helsinki 2005, Radcliffe, who was returning after giving birth to a baby daughter in January this year, stormed home in a stunning time of 2:23:09 and has now placed herself well and truly in the favourites position for the Olympic title in Beijing next August.

photo Picture Alliance

The 33-year-old, who has now won seven out of her eight Marathon starts, has suggested she may now compete in the IAAF World Cross Country Championships which take place in Edinburgh in March 2008, a venue where she won her last SPAR European Cross Country Championships in 2003.

Baldini, on the other hand, was impressive in making up for the disappointment of a non-finish in the London Marathon in April by finishing fourth in a season's best of 2:11:58 and has already confirmed that the defence of the title he won so impressively in Athens 3-years-ago will be his main aim in 2008.

The 36-year-old double European Marathon Champion has consistently proved that he has the temperament to win the titles in the pressure cooker atmosphere of a championship and will certainly be one to watch in Beijing 2008.

The runners up in the women's poll was Italy's Vincenza Sicari and Romania's Ancuta Bobocel .

The European Athlete of the Month initiative was launched in January 2007 and is designed to recognise outstanding performers at all levels of the sport in Europe. European Athletics will name a male and female winner each month and feature the athlete on the European Athletics website. Selections are based on votes by the public, the media and a panel of European Athletics experts with each counting for 33.3% of the final vote. The winners will automatically be short listed for the European Athlete of the Year Award. There was no award in August 2007 due to the European Athlete of the Year poll.

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