Gelant happy with Tokyo preparation

Runner beats injury to qualify all over again

Elroy Gelant wins the Langa Marathon Challenge event at Killarney International Raceway.
Elroy Gelant wins the Langa Marathon Challenge event at Killarney International Raceway.
Image: Roger Sedres

SA prominent marathoner Elroy Gelant is pleased with his preparations for the Olympic Games after he recovered from a back injury.

On Sunday, the 34-year-old Potchefstroom-based athlete clocked 02:11:22 to win the Retail Capital Langa Marathon in Cape Town.

Motlokoa Nkhabutlane of Lesotho finished in second place with a time of 02:11: 32, while his compatriot Tsepo Ramashamole settled for third place at 02:11:32.

Gelant secured a fourth-place finish when he ran 2:10:30 in the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon in 2019 to qualify for the Olympic Games.

The SA men's Olympic marathon standard qualifying time is 2:11:45 and Gelant has run the Olympic qualifying time twice. Stephen Mokoka, Desmond Mokgobu and Gelant are in the men's marathon squad, with Gelant running the third-fastest qualifying time

“I am pleased with my time and I used the marathon as part of my preparations for the Olympic Games. Last year, I injured my back in London and that held me back a little bit. I did many rehabs last year until I eventually started to train and run again. I had about a 14-week block of training behind me and I thought that this marathon would be an ideal Olympic preparation for me going into Tokyo. I also wanted to see where I am lacking in terms of fitness," Gelant told Sowetan.

Gelant and his coach Jean Verster are optimistic that he will regain his full fitness with more than a month before the start of the Olympics.

“It is encouraging to run another Olympic qualifying time after being out for so long due to injury. I am confident that I will head to Japan as a renewed athlete. My body responded well to this marathon and that I was not that tired as I told myself from the onset that I want to use this race as a preparatory run. I am pleased with the whole outcome," he said.

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