Paula Radcliffe: “Don’t penalise women”

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Stripped of her 2003 marathon world record thanks to a sexist new rule, Paula Radcliffe talks to Stylist...

It’s not just in the boardroom that women need to put up a fight. As the International Association of Athletics Federations announce they will only recognise women’s world records from female-only races, it seems sport isn’t immune to sexism either.

Their new ruling means that Paula Radcliffe’s 2003 London Marathon record has been downgraded simply because she was running alongside men. Not surprisingly, she’s unimpressed.

“This penalises women in sport,” Paula tells Stylist. “The IAAF’s reasoning for the change is that, in mixed races, the men act as pacers, making us run faster. So now, any women’s performances achieved in mixed fields will be referred to as a “world best”, not a record. But when I ran 2hr 15min 25sec in 2003, I was racing the men, not getting help from them! This now limits the chances women have to set records. I abided by the rules. How can you now say they don’t count?”

To support Nike’s attempt to overturn the ruling tweet #historystands


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Stylist Team