NEW YORK (AFP) - Britain's Paula Radcliffe defends her New York Marathon title here Sunday against an impressive women's field, seeking her third career victory on the streets of the "Big Apple" after a tough year. The 34-year-old world record holder won last year just 10 months after giving birth to her first child but this year suffered a leg stress fracture that hindered her preparations for the Beijing Olympics, where she was 23rd. "I totally don't regret being there because I worked really hard to give myself that chance," Radcliffe said. "Being in the race and giving it a shot is 100 times better than watching on TV. "It's the Olympic Games. I wanted to go there and give it the best shot that I could." Now she plans on doing the same after winning a 10-mile race in England, adding confidence to her love of New York, where she won in 2004 as well as last year. "I do have good feelings about the place," Radcliffe said. "When I go there I can race well and something special can happen." Radcliffe says she has yet to perform her absolute fastest in New York. "I haven't really run as fast as I should be capable of doing in New York," she said. "The two times that I've run there, it has been a race right down to the wire. I've been thinking about winning rather than how fast you can go. "Certainly I think you can go a couple minutes faster than I have done in New York, but it needs to be a particular race and sometimes that comes about just because you're racing each other and sometimes it doesn't." Radcliffe set a world record of 2 hrs 15 mins 25 secs to win the 2003 London Marathon. While the New York course does not set up as a likely place for a world record bid, Radcliffe has not given up of trying to lower her mark somewhere someday. "In terms of beating 2:15, with a good strong buildup and things going right for a good time, and then on a fast course, yeah, I think it's possible. But you would need everything to go right," she said. "I do feel that I have good runs left in me. I just need to be able to sort of steer clear of injuries and keep the buildup strong." Radcliffe's rivals include 2002 New York winner Joyce Chepchumba of Kenya, two-time world champion Catherine Ndereba of Kenya, 2008 Boston Marathon winner Dire Tuna of Ethiopia, 2006 Boston Marathon champion Rita Jeptoo of Kenya and two-time Berlin Marathon champion Gete Wami of Ethiopia. Ndereba, 36, comes off her second Olympic silver medal in Beijing and with two Chicago triumphs and four Boston titles hungers to add new York to her win list after second-place showings in 1999 and 2003. "I'm looking forward to get that win, no matter what," Ndereba said. "If I win New York, I just count it as if it was Olympic gold, of which I've not gotten tired of looking forward to. "I feel fully recovered. I still feel like I have much left in my body." Tune, 23, edged Russia's Alevtina Biktimirova last April in Boston and also won this year at Houston but settled for 15th at the Olympics. "I've worked hard for this. I've worked harder than I have in the past," Tune said. "If I have wheels, I expect to do well. Wami, 33, was outdistanced by Radcliffe in the home stretch through Central Park last year and did not finish at Beijing. "I hope to do very well. I have prepared well. We have a tough field," Wami said. "During the Olympics I had some stomach problems, so there was nothing remaining after that. I didn'y have any problem getting back into training." The men's field includes South African Hendrick Ramaala, who won the New York title in 2004 and lost to Kenya's Paul Tergat after a dramatic dive for the finish line in 2005. Ramaala finished third last year. Tergat, 39, has not run a marathon since last year at London but the former Berlin champion will also be on hand along with Brazil's Marilson Gomes dos Santos, the 2006 winner, and Morocco's Abderrahim Goumri, the 2007 runner-up. Moroccan Abderrahime Bouramdane makes his New York debut after finishing second to Kenya's Robert Cheruiyot at Boston.