Gelant goes close | SASCOC - SASCOC

Gelant goes close

A string of South African athletes continue to do international battle around Europe, writes Mark Etheridge.

Latest of the bunch to shine were Elroy Gelant, Edwin Molepo, Mapaseka Makhanya and Tebogo Masehla who competed in the Metz International meeting in France on Monday evening.

Gelant won the men’s 3000 metres in an excellent 7min 41.59secÔǪ that’s just 0.53sec outside Juan van Deventer’s national mark of 7:41.06. Gelant edged Ethiopia’s Arega Dawit Wolde into second spot (7:42.65). It was a huge personal best for Gelant, improving on the 7:54.36 he ran in Gent, Belgium, two years ago.

And there was double cause for celebration as Edwin Molepo went on to win the 3000m steeplechase in 8:26.82, just ahead of local runner Hassan Oubassour in 8:27.49. Molepo had the assistance of some pace-making by fellow South African Dean Brummer.

At the weekend, Brummer had placed 14th in the 3000m steeplechase at a meeting in Lausitz, clocking 8:55.34.

Also in action in Germany was 400m hurdles ace Cornel Fredericks, the Stellenbosch athlete who finished second in 49.43sec.

The third South African in action in France on Monday was Mapaseka Makhanya, the 2010 national 800m champion, placing third in the women’s 1500m in 4:16.77. The race was won by Kenyan Myriam Wangari in 4:12.84. And in the women’s 3000m steeplechase Masehla clocked 10.02 to end fifth, just outside the top three finishers.

Meanwhile at the Kuortane Games in Finland, world junior long jump champion Luvo Manyonga ended with a best effort of 7.96m, just 2cm shy of Finnish winner Tommi Evila whose effort was a season’s best for him. Manyonga’s training partner Shaun de Jager also had a good meeting with a 21.72 personal best in finishing second in the 200m. Sibusisho Sishi won the B race in 22.03 while a further member of Mario Smith’s training group, Louw Smit took fifth in the 110m hurdles with a┬á 14.37 run.

Also at the weekend Mandie Brandt and Charlene Potgieter competed at a meeting in Nivelles, Belgium. Brandt ended third in 2:06.28 in a race won by Cherono Koech of Kenya (2:04.38) while Potgieter leapt 13.06m to win the triple jump competition from Britain’s Chioma Matthes (12.28m).