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Include Ngugi, Tergat in team, urges Ng’eny

By | March 8th 2009

By Feverpitch Reporter

Former Olympic gold medallist Noah Ngeny wants Athletics Kenya to include former world champions in the national cross country team to advice the runners.

"It is important for the team to have people like Paul Tergat, John Ngugi and Edith Masai as part of them to raise their morale and also play advisory role in a sport they dominated," Ngeny, who won 1,500m gold at the 2000 Sydney Games told FeverPitch.

"They knew what it took to win under muddy, sandy and dry conditions. They knew how to prepare for the World Cross Country Championships. They prepared at the same camp where the team is. They should be part of that team to Amman," said the man who upset Morocco’s Hicham El Guerrouj in Sydney when the latter was invincible for over a year.

Ngugi was the first Kenya to win the World Cross senior men’s 12km title between 1986 and 1989 and also in 1992. Tergat won five successive times between 1995 and 1999. No Kenyan has won the men’s title since. Masai won the women’s 4km race between 2002 and 2004. Before that, she won bronze in 2001.

Kenya selected a team of 24 on February 21 who proceeded to the residential training in Embu last week. The World Cross will be in Amman, Jordan, on March 28.

Ngeny said the three top cross country runners can raise the team’s morale and give them tips.

"Would it be too expensive to add the three or only two of them to the team in camp? This can make a difference because we want to reclaim the men’s 12km title which we last won in 1999," said Ngeny.

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