After helping Haile Gebrselassie and Kenenisa Bekele become Olympic champions, Dutch track manager Jos Hermens has been hired to do likewise with China, an Olympic juggernaut in many sports -- but not track and field.
At the 2008 Beijing Games, China led the gold medal standings. But in track, the country won just two bronze medals, trailing the likes of Belgium and Panama. Hermens' athletes alone won nine medals.
China is bent on becoming No. 1 in whatever sport it pursues. But Hermens clearly has his work cut out for him, with the London Olympics a little more than a year away.
"Olympic Games are everything and China targets everything toward that," Hermens said Tuesday in an interview with The Associated Press. "London will be difficult, but some things can be done, in women's marathon [with world champion Bai Xue] and long distance."
Hermens is already looking to take some of the Chinese long-distance runners to Ethiopia for training with local athletes and nurture them for two to three months.
"They would fit in perfectly," he said.