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China Enlists Gebrselassie’s Manager

The Dutch manager will bring Chinese athletes to Ethiopia.

The Dutch manager will bring Chinese athletes to Ethiopia.

The world’s largest emerging power has turned to the manager behind Haile Gebrselassie’s and Kenenisa Bekele’s success: Jos Hermans. In an article posted on the USA Today Web site, the government of China has hired track manager Hermens to assist the country in winning more track and field medals. At the 2008 Olympics held in Beijing, China won more gold medals than any other country, but only managed to win two bronze medals in athletics–the same medal count earned by Panama and Belgium. 

“Olympic Games are everything and China targets everything toward that,” Hermens said in an interview on Tuesday. “London will be difficult, but some things can be done, in women’s marathon [with world champion Bai Xue] and long distance.”

Part of Hermens’ strategy is to take Chinese athletes with him to train in Ethiopia for two to three months. Hermens says there they will “fit in perfectly.”

Hermens notes that part of China’s problem in the past is a failure to take responsiblity. He’s observed that “if you take the wrong decision, you get pushed down. You take no decision, no mistake.”

For More: USA Today