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  • Writer's pictureThathe Msimango

'The preparations showed that I'm in great shape' - Gelant triumphs at Durban International Marathon

Updated: Apr 30

South African distance running star Elroy Gelant produced an excellent performance to despatch a quality field of athletes on his was to winning the Durban International Marathon this morning (Sunday 28 April) in a new course record time of 2:09:32. Gelant was followed home by Mathews Leeto in a time of 2:09:47, while the evergreen Stephen Mokoka rounded off the podium with a 2:09:52 which was also inside the previous course record of 2:10:10 set last year.


Running in the colours of Athletics Central North West, the 37-year-old Gelant had been hoping to use the race to book his ticket to the Olympics games in Paris later this year by running under the stringent automatic qualification standard of 2:08:10. Despite failing to do so, the North West University lecturer can still be included in SA's Olympic marathon team if he is still ranked inside the top 80 marathon athletes in the world by the end of April. Speaking afterwards, Gelant said that he was pleased to secure the national time as the race incorporated the South African Marathon Championships.


Gelant ran the second fastest time of his career to secure victory at the Durban International Marathon. Photo Credit: Durban International Marathon.

"The preparations showed that I'm in great shape just like I was when I ran the Sevilla Marathon in February. I came here to claim the national title and I actually did that. With three months to go, I'm very happy that I ran 2:09,. I think for now the focus will be on Olympics going forward," said the Boxer Athletics Club top runner who produced a lifetime best of 2:08:56 at in Spain in February.


"At 36km, I think I decided that I had enough and I shall make a move. Then I took my chance and made a move because in the end, I knew the group I was with had the likes of Stephen Mokoka who are good. From there, I told myself it's all in my hands to secure a victory and I did absolutely that," he explained.

 


Oldknow on top of the podium after winning the Durban International Marathon. Photo Credit: Hollywood AC.

In the women's race, Cian Oldknow who has already qualified for #Paris2024 continued her wonderful form crossing the tape in a new course record time of 2:29:46 to cement her status as one of the best runners in the country. The Central Gauteng Athletics runner believes these races are crucial to her Olympics preparations. 


"The aim was to prepare myself. I told myself that I'm going to run at least 2:30 which I manage to accomplish. From here, I know that my training for the Olympics is still intact. I'm still going to do some races as part of training. Overall, I'm happy with the today's performance," she said.

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