Radcliffe has no plans to retire

The Bolton News: Paula Radcliffe has said 'retirement is definitely not in any plans' Paula Radcliffe has said 'retirement is definitely not in any plans'

Paula Radcliffe has admitted she expected to lose her National Lottery funding and has no intention of retiring.

The marathon world record-holder headed a group of senior athletes who have been removed from the World Class Performance Programme for 2013, UK Athletics announced on Monday. The 39-year-old's omission was not a surprise, given she missed the London 2012 Olympics with a foot injury and has only run one marathon since 2009, in Beijing last year.

"Just to clarify I am very grateful for the support Lottery Funding gives us athletes and fully expected to see it withdrawn," she said on Twitter.

"From the beginning I have only ever received medical support, which is of course significant and vital. Since funding came in, I have seen big differences in the depth and strength of all our sports. Retirement is definitely not in any plans! I'm not doing all this cross training and getting this foot healthy and strong for nothing!"

UK Sport have narrowed the focus for funding for athletes across sports from those with top-eight potential to those who are medal contenders at global championships in the next Olympic cycle.

Radcliffe had been on podium-level funding, the highest level of Lottery support. Means testing meant she did not get any financial aid, which runs from around £13,000 to £26,000, but she did benefit from access to coaches, facilities, medical staff and training camps.

The mother of two, who saw her Olympic hopes ruined by illness and injury in 2004 and 2008, pulled out of the 2012 marathon with a foot injury after failing a fitness test a week before the event.

Several other senior names have also seen their funding taken away, including marathon runner Mara Yamauchi, veteran sprinters Marlon Devonish and Mark Lewis-Francis, European 400m hurdles champion Rhys Williams, former European 800m silver medallist Michael Rimmer, Commonwealth 1500m bronze medallist Steph Twell, former world 400m silver medallist Nicola Sanders and 800m runner Marilyn Okoro.

Athletes who impressed at the Olympics have been rewarded for their performances. High jump bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz has been promoted to podium funding, along with world junior 100m champion Adam Gemili, while rising heptathlon star Katarina Johnson-Thompson, discus thrower Lawrence Okoye and sprint hurdler Lawrence Clarke have also been added to the podium ranks.

A further group of athletes, considered potential medallists at the 2020 Games, have been given lower-level podium potential support. The programme also includes Paralympic athletes, and amputee sprinter Jonnie Peacock has been rewarded for his T44 100m gold with podium funding.

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