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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

Gelant qualifies for Olympics on World Rankings and targets another sub 28 at Absa DURBAN 10K

Moments after winning the Nelson Mandela Bay Half Marathon on Sunday, Elroy Gelant announced that his mercurial performances over the last 12 months have been motivated by his desire to represent South Africa at the Olympic Games one more time. Having missed out on automatic qualification by just 46 seconds, the man donned the green and gold at #Rio2016 and #Tokyo2021, remained hopeful that he would qualify for #Paris2024 via the World Athletics ranking system. 

"From 2016 in Rio I laid the foundations to be an Olympian.  And you can see in the performance of the last nine months because I have that mentality in my head it’s an Olympic year so I have to push. Although I missed out on qualifying for the Olympics, I still hope that in can qualify by being one of the top 80 athletes on World Ranking," he said on Saturday 1 June after clocking 1:03:56 to win his first SA 21km title since 2014 and his second national title in just four weeks.

Thumbs Up! Gelant has secured his spot in the South African Olympic team and will take on the Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K on 7 July. Photo Credit: Mark Sampson.

The Boxer Athletics Club top runner has been in the shape of his life in 2024 setting personal bests over the marathon (2:08:56) and 10km (27:54), while claiming a silver medal in the 5000m at the ASA Senior Track and Field Championships. “It’s a testament to our hard work and dedication as a team. I’m referring to my coach, training mates and support structures,” said the University of the North-West lecturer who is coached by Jean Verster.

Days after his performance in Gqeberha, World Athletics confimred that Gelant had qualified for the global showpiece on the basis on his world ranking. With the his Olympic birth now secured, the 37-year-old can now focus on preparing to take on his third marathon of the year following his win at the Durban International Marathon on 28 April in 2:09:32. Gelant has confirmed that he will race the iconic Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K on Sunday 7 July 2024 - his seventh race in the last four months also included a maiden sub 28 minute clocking at the Absa RUN YOUR CITY CAPE TOWN 10K on Mother’s Day. Lining up on a course that produced the SA All-Comers Record of 27:16 set by Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei in 2018, Gelant knows that given his excellent recent form, all eyes will be on him.

"My recovery is crucial to my success. I focus on proper rest, nutrition, and active recovery techniques to bounce back quickly from hard racing. I understand the expectations at the Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K and I am prepared for the challenge. It will be great to better my 27:54 personal best that I ran in Cape Town as the weather conditions in Cape Town were not ideal for running fast times. Hopefully, we will be blessed with better running conditions in Durban," he concluded.

"We are thrilled to have Elroy Gelant join the lineup for the Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K on Sunday, 7 July,” says Michael Meyer, Managing Director of Stillwater Sports and Series Founder. “Elroy is in the shape of his life, showcasing his exceptional talent and dedication to the sport. Not only is he an outstanding athlete, but also a fantastic ambassador for road running. It’s an honour to have him toe the line in Durban, and we look forward to witnessing yet another stellar performance in this year’s race."

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