05 NOV 1999 General News

Tergat goes for record sixth cross country title

Tergat goes for record sixth cross country title
Reuters

4 November 1999 – New York - Kenya's Paul Tergat, the world cross country champion for the last five years, confirmed on Thursday that he would try for a sixth crown next spring.

Tergat, 30, had been noncommittal since he won an unprecedented fifth successive title last March in Belfast, about whether he would contest the event again but the 30-year-old Kenyan Air Force Sargeant said he had made up his mind since winning the World Half Marathon title last month.

The 2000 IAAF World Cross Country Championships will be held in Vilamoura, Portugal, in March. The runner was speaking in New York while on a promotional appearance.

He also confirmed that he would have one final tilt at trying to lift a major championship title over 10,000 metres on the track at the Sydney Olympics next year.

He finished second over the distance at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics behind Haile Gebrselassie and has subsequently had to settle for 10,000 silver medals behind the Ethiopian world record holder for the distance at both the 1997 and 1999 World Championships.

Tergat's recent decisions mean that his much anticipated move up to the marathon has been delayed until 2001. He had originally said he planned make his debut at the classic distance next year.

"In 2000 I want to close some chapters on my career. When I move up to the marathon I don't want to be thinking about other events," he said.

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