February 21, 2009 / 2:48 PM / 10 years ago

Husband and wife head Kenya world cross country team

Kenya's Florence Kiplagat (L) and Iness Chenonge (R) sprint to the finish during the senior women's 8km race in Kenya's National Cross Country Championship at the Ngong Race Coures in capital Nairobi, February 21, 2009. The event was in preparation for the World Cross Country Championship which will be held in Amman and Jordan in March this year. REUTERS/Antony Njuguna (KENYA)

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Moses Mosop and his wife Florence Kiplagat head the Kenyan team for next month’s world cross country championships in Jordan.

Mosop, who won the senior men’s 12km race at the national championships on Saturday, and Kiplagat, senior women’s 8km champion, were included in the team of 24 athletes.

Five-times world cross country champion Paul Tergat was confident Kenya had the squad to bring the senior men’s 12 km individual title back to the east African nation.

“I am more convinced now than ever that the senior men’s title will return to Kenya after a 10-year lapse because of the likely absence of (Ethiopia’s multiple champion) Kenenisa Bekele and (Eritrea’s 2007 champion) Zersenay Tadese,” Tergat told Reuters at the national championships.

“It is high time the title we worked so hard for returned home and there is no better time to reclaim it than this year in Jordan,” added the double Olympic 10,000 metres silver medallist.

Bekele is reportedly injured while Tadese is making his marathon debut in London in April.

Kenya head coach Julius Kirwa said he would not plan tactics around the possible absence of Bekele and Tadese.

“We are looking at a bigger picture, which is to work on a plan to reclaim the senior men’s individual title whether Bekele and Tadese run or not,” he said. “We shall polish that plan during residential training which starts next week in Embu (near Mount Kenya).”

The world cross country championships take place in Amman, Jordan on March 28.

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