• Thathe Msimango

Motsau sets eyes on Olympic qualification after setting new national 3000m record

Middle distance sensation Jerry Motsau is still in disbelief that he is the new South African 3 000m record holder. Motsau provided an eye-popping performance as he ran a scintillating 7:40:99 time last week Thursday in Nembro, Italy to shatter the previous record set by Juan Van Deventer. Motsau did the unthinkable to outclass a strong field bolstered by European Championship 10 000m bronze medalist Crippa Yemaneberhan. He says even though the field suggested a fast time was on the cards, his target was to win the race not to set a record.


"I'm very excited and feeling extremely happy and proud to set the new record," explains the man who works as an Administrator at the University of North West. "The weather was not hot but at the same time not cold. There was no wind at all and it was around 9:00 at night. I didn't know that I'm going to break the SA record but I did know that I'm going to run a fast time. Looking at the field, two guys had gone under 7:50 already this season. But honestly, I aimed to win the race as per my coach's (Jean Verster ) instructions," he told #TheTopRunner.


Motsau in action at the Newton Classic Qualifier in Durban earlier this month before jetting off to Europe. Photo Credit: Cuan Walker.

The former SA 1 500m champion thinks the high-intensity program he has been on with his training partner Elroy Gelant during this new Covid19 season had a huge impact in elevating him to the next level as an athlete. And he believes the memorable record run is a result of good training.


"Elroy (Gelant) was training for London Marathon before he got injured so I jumped in his program. So that helped me because I had to do a lot of mileage," elaborates Motsau. "That's why I struggled a lot with 800m and 1 500m but I kept believing and trusting the process because I knew the bigger picture. But preparations leading up to Europe have been good because I was on a high mileage program since January. After all, it's Olympic year so we didn't want to peak twice in a year so we were aiming for one peak," he said.


Motsau (left) flanked by training partner Elroy Gelant at a North West University function in 2019. Photo Credit: Elroy Gelant.

The 31-year-old former World Students games bronze medalist still has an eye on that elusive Olympic dream and more national records.


"To be honest it's every athlete's dream to break the record that's why we wake up to train every day," explains Motsau. "So I'm still dreaming of breaking the national record especially in the 1 500m. What's next for me now, is to try and secure an Olympic qualifier in the 1 500m distance in the coming days. I never focused on 5 000m but if I can qualify in that distance I would take it even though my target remains as 1 500m," he concluded.

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