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British star Paula reveals how a spider nearly ruined her Beijing hopes

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As Olympic athlete Paula Radcliffe arrived at the British training camp in China on Monday, fans were relieved to hear she is confident she's recovered from a stress fracture in her left leg. However, the 34-year-old revealed her recovery was jeopardised when she was bitten by a venomous spider three weeks ago.

The world record-holding Brit was bitten on a toe on her left foot while enjoying a day's break from training in the French Pyrenees with her coach husband Gary Lough and their one-year-old daughter.

She was rushed to the emergency room in nearby Font Romeu after being struck down with fever provoked by the bite. As a result Paula, who now lives in France, missed out on four crucial days training for the Beijing Games.

The long-distance runner, who set the world marathon record in 2002 and in 2003, is still optimistic about competing in 12 days time, however. "I'm the type of person that if you say I can't do this, then it makes me more determined," she says.

Photo: ©
Paula arrives at the Team GB camp on Macau on Monday. Despite the setback in her training caused by a spider bite, the athlete says she will compete in the marathon in 12 days time Photo: © Getty Images

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