Gelant eyes Olympics

2012-02-18 13:11

Elroy Gelant said he would not take part in the remainder of the 2012 cross country season after winning the senior men’s 12km title at the SA Cross Country Trials in Potchefstroom today.

The 25-year-old human resources officer at Potchefstroom University eased into the lead on the last of six laps and peeled away to win by 12 seconds in 34 minutes, 49 seconds (34:49).

“My focus is all on the Olympics this year,” he said after the race.

Gelant said he hoped to dip under the 13:20 qualifying standard over 5 000m at either the inter-provincial meeting in Bellville on March 3 or the Yellow Pages Series event in Stellenbosch on March 20.

He would not compete in this season’s Southern Region or African Cross Country Championships.

Gelant, who holds a 13:25:09 personal best in the 5 000m track event, set in Udine last season, also hoped to improve the 17-year-old national mark of 13:14:16 held by Shadrack Hoff.

“My aim is to be in the top eight at the Olympics and to do that I will need to be able to run a 13:05,” he said.

“So I will have to be able to break the SA record at some stage this year.”

Manja finished second in Potchefstroom in 13:01, with Boy Soke taking third a further five seconds off the pace.

Lebo Phalula easily won the women’s 8km race in 27:08 to hold off Mpho Mabuza by 29 seconds. Phalula’s twin sister, Lebogang, secured bronze.

Tumisang Monnatlala won a closely contested junior men’s 8km race in 24:25 and Sylvia Tshehtlanyane bagged the junior women’s 6km title in 21:22.

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