Great Edinburgh XCountry: GB captaincy 'shocks' Jonathan Taylor

By Joe TownsendBBC Tees Sport
GB Jonathan Taylor in action at the 2013 World Cross Country in Bydgosz
Jonathan Taylor was three seconds behind 5,000m and 10,000m world-record holder Kenenisa Bekele at Edinburgh last year
Great Edinburgh Cross Country
Venue: Edinburgh, Scotland Date: Saturday 10 January
Coverage: Live on BBC One 13:00-14:30 GMT

Middlesbrough's Jonathan Taylor only found out he will captain Great Britain at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country when the BBC asked for an interview.

The 27-year-old will lead the team against Europe and the USA after world and Olympic 5,000m and 10,000m champion

but will race over 8km this time.

"It was a complete shock to be honest, I didn't know about it until I got a text for this interview," he said.

"It's something I never expected to be asked to do and will be one of my proudest moments," he told BBC Tees.

"I think I'll more look back on it at the end of my career as, right now, it doesn't change my focus as an individual athlete."

"You win nothing with kids..."
Great Britain's 12-strong senior men's team for the Great Edinburgh Cross Country has an average age of just under 23.

The news comes as a boost for Taylor after he missed out on the in December by placing 10th in the trial race.

This weekend he heads a very youthful British men's team, summed up by the fact that he is the oldest of the 12.

"It probably fell to me a bit by default as the oldest man in the team, so take it or leave, I'm not complaining," he added.

"I was worried about the speech when I found out, but even if it's short and sweet hopefully I'll find some inspirational words."

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