Paula Radcliffe has spoken of her upset at having to withdraw from the Olympics after failing a fitness test on her left foot.
The marathon world-record holder has been suffering with a degenerative joint problem since the end of June, but had hoped it would recover in time for the Olympic Marathon next Sunday.
Despite winning the women's London marathon three times, mum-of-two Paula has never won an Olympic medal due to injury.
She had high hopes for London 2012 saying “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."
The 38-year-old said “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," she added “However, the downside is that it can break your heart and spirit many times over.”
Despite this setback, Paula has been praised for her contribution to the sport, with former triple jumper Jonathan Edwards saying she should be "incredibly proud of what she has done."
Scottish athlete Freya Murray, 29, who was the second fastest Briton in the Virgin London Marathon in April, has now replaced Paula.
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