Last Updated: July 29, 2012 5:30pm
UK Athletics have confirmed Paula Radcliffe has been ruled out of the women's marathon at London 2012 due to "medical reasons".
Radcliffe had targeted gold since London won the right to host the 2012 Games and made amends for her showings in 2004 and 2008.
The three-time New York City marathon winner failed to finish the 2004 Athens marathon and was 23rd in Beijing in 2008.
"Through a lot of tough times it has kept me fighting, motivated and focused. That is why it hurts so much to finally admit to myself that it isn't going to happen."
Paula Radcliffe Quotes of the week
Radcliffe has expressed her sadness at not being able to compete this summer, stating the sport demands the body to be at its very best.
"From the day when it was announced that London had won the bid, taking part and performing well in the London Olympic Games has been a major goal in my life," commented Radcliffe.
"The goal of a fifth Olympics in my home country, what better? The chance to make amends to myself for bitter disappointments at the previous two Olympics.
"Through a lot of tough times it has kept me fighting, motivated and focused. That is why it hurts so much to finally admit to myself that it isn't going to happen.
"My sport is a beautiful sport, it gives so much fun and enjoyment, I believe it helps me to be a better person, and I have been very fortunate to experience some great success and have so many beautiful and happy memories.
"However, the downside is that it can break your heart and spirit many times over when your body is simply unable to match what your heart and brain want it to do.
"Sadly mine is not a career or a hobby where mind over matter can work when your body is hurt, nor where giving less than your best each day can ever work."
Athletics team leader Charles van Commenee feels for Radcliffe, stating she remains one of the sport's greatest ever runners.
"This is obviously a disappointing day for Paula and our sport, but it was important to her that if she made the start line it would be in the best possible shape," said Van Commenee.
"It wasn't meant to be and she has taken the right decision to withdraw at this stage.
"I think it is important that we don't look at Paula's career in Olympic cycles. She is undoubtedly one of the greatest female distance runners of all times and still holds the marathon world record.
"When we look back at her career it should be in the context of what she has achieved and not what she hasn't. I wish her all the very best for her recovery."
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