LONDON, Sept 20 Marathon bodies opposed on
Tuesday a move by the governing IAAF to reclassify Paula
Radcliffe's 2003 women's world record and replace it with a
The International Association of Athletics Federations
agreed in Daegu, South Korea, last month to acknowledge as
women's world records only those times set in all-women
Performances achieved in mixed fields would instead be
referred to only as a "world best".
The rule change, due to come into effect in January next
year, would see Radcliffe's record of 2:15.25 set in London in
2003 downgraded to a world best while the Briton's time of
2:17.42 -- set in London in 2005 -- would become the new record.
World Marathon Majors (WMM) and the Association of
International Marathons (AIMS) said in a joint statement that
they felt the IAAF Congress decision "does not represent what is
required by the sport of road running.
"They further believe that there should be two world records
for women's road running performances, separately recognising
those achieved in mixed competition and women's only
conditions," it added.
The WMM is made up of the Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago
and New York marathons while AIMS represents more than 300 races
The two bodies said they would continue to recognise both
types of performances as world records and would discuss the
matter further with the IAAF.
"The current situation where the fastest time is not now
recognised as a record is confusing and unfair and does not
respect the history of our sport," they added.
An IAAF spokesman recognised the difference of opinion and
said it was now up to the marathon bodies to argue their case
Radcliffe, now 37, will be running in the Berlin Marathon on
Sunday and is hoping to compete also in next year's London
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Justin Palmer; For
Reuters sports blog Left Field go to: blogs.reuters.com/sport)