Athletics: British hopes hit by virus

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BRITAIN'S prospects for Sunday's world cross-country championships in Amorebieta, Spain, receded yesterday with the withdrawal of three key runners, each suffering from a viral complaint.

Richard Nerurkar, the English champion, and the experienced Dave Lewis have dropped out of the men's team, dealing a severe blow to hopes of a repeat of last year's bronze in Boston. Nerurkar's counterpart, Gillian Stacey, has been forced to pull out of the women's team led by Liz McColgan.

Paul Roden, of East Cheshire, and Andrew Pearson, of Longwood, step in for the men, Parkside's Andrea Whitcombe for the women. The reserves are Martin Jones, from Horwich, and Laura Adam, of Scotland.