Career Highlights: Paula Radcliffe will be competing at her fifth Olympic Games when she takes part in the marathon at London. The 38-year-old Radcliffe started her career as a cross-country and long-distance track runner, but made the step up to the marathon in 2002, winning the London Marathon on her debut and setting a world record in the Chicago Marathon later that year - a record that she would go on to improve and still hold. Commonwealth gold in Manchester in the 5,000 metres and European gold in the 10,000 ensured that 2002 was the year that cemented Radcliffe’s place amongst the elite of world athletics, and three London Marathon and two New York Marathon titles underline her class in the event. Her past Olympic Games have not been amongst the highlights of Radcliffe’s career. Narrowly missing out on a track medal in both the 1996 and 2000 Games, Radcliffe went into the 2004 Athens Olympics as clear favourite for the marathon gold, but the effects of a leg injury picked up in the build-up to the Games meant that she failed to finish both the marathon and the 10,000 metres. Further fitness problems caused her major difficulty in 2008, and although she did finish the medal places were well out of reach. Mother of two and a veteran of the spot, the London Olympics are likely to be Radcliffe’s swan-song in athletics. Preparation for the Games hasn’t gone perfectly to plan, with a bout of bronchitis interrupting training and explaining a disappointing performance in the Vienna half marathon in April, where she finished 11 minutes off the lead. The winner of the 2011 London Marathon, Edna Kiplagat, is arguably the favourite for Olympic gold, but Radcliffe’s world record is five minutes quicker than Kiplagat’s personal best so if the Brit can rediscover anything like her best form then Olympic redemptions is not out of the question.