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  • Writer's pictureThathe Msimango

Gelant's Olympic Dream alive after 2:08 marathon PB in Sevilla

South African road-running legend Elroy Gelant is pleased to have posted a new personal best time of 2:08:56 to claim 26th place at yesterday's (Sunday, 18 February) Sevilla Marathon in Spain. Gelant entered the race with the mission of clocking 2:08:10 or faster in order to book a place at the upcoming Olympic Games scheduled for the French Capital in Paris. The Boxer Athletics Club elite runner is chasing a third Olympic appearance after having represented the country over 5000m at Rio 2016 and the marathon at Tokyo 2021.

"The goal for Sevilla was to achieve the Olympic standard. I fell short but I'm more than happy with a personal best. I can only build on this performance. As it puts me in a new marathon range," explains former national 5,000 m record holder who went into yesterday's race with a 2:10:31 42,2km career best set at the 2019 Sanlam Cape Town Marathon.

Gelant running the RETAIL CAPITAL Langa Marathon Challenge in May 2021 where he clocked 2:11:22 ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. Photo Credit: Cuan Walker.

Despite missing out on his objective, the Boxer Athletic Club top runner can't fault his training saying he ran out of gas during the closing stages of the World Athletics Label event. 

"Marathon preparations were intact for the race. We had a positive training camp down in my hometown of Pacaltsdorp (George) during the December holidays with the likes of Lloyd Bosman (Nedbank athlete) who won the Cape Peninsula Marathon yesterday. I knew my legs would carry me translating from my marathon long runs which was vital. During the race, I knew I was on qualifying pace and was gutted when I forfeited seconds in the last stages of the race but more than happy with my personal best," he explained. 

Gelant training with 2023 Balwin Sport Peninsula Marathon champion Llyod Bosman during their December training camp in Pacaltsdorp, George. Photo Credit: Supplied.

Far from throwing in the towel, Gelant is hoping to use the Durban International Marathon on April 28 to earn valuable World Athletics ranking points which will strengthen his Olympic qualification case once the automatic qualifiers have been filled and the remaining spots are allocated based on world ranking.

"The possibility of representing our country at a third Olympics will showcase the values of belief and hard work. It proves that anything is achievable when you put your mind to it. But remember that it will be a bit difficult to run an Olympic qualification at the Durban Marathon without proper pacemakers. So the target will only be a top three performance. Remember that all national championship events count towards world ranking," he concluded.

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