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Elroy, Irvette win champs
- Updated: May 20, 2012
North West’s Elroy Gelant is the new South African 10-kilometre champion after beating defending champion Lucky Mohale (Central Gauteng) in chilly conditions at the Diskobolos Defence Force Sport Grounds in Kimberley on Saturday.
Gelant, who made the final of the 3000m at the IAAF World Indoor Championships earlier this year, clocked 28:36, improving on his sixth place last year.
The race was off to a very quick start with Mohale leading from the gun, his goal, to dip under the 28min mark.┬á Stephen Mokoka (Gauteng North), Gladwin Mzazi (AGN), Kgosi Tsosane (AGN), Gelant┬á and Frik Guys (CGA) were just some of the athletes to form the leading group.
Gelant broke away from the group just after the 8km mark. At the 9km mark Mohale and Desmond Mokgobu (CGA) were falling further behind with Mokoka and Mzazi trailing even further.
ÔÇ£The race started very fast and I was very comfortable throughout.┬á It was after the 7km mark that I realised that I can do it,ÔÇØ said Gelant after the race.┬á ÔÇ£This race is a great test of my fitness as I will be travelling overseas soon to run the 5000m.ÔÇØ┬á Gelant will be trying to qualify for the 5000m and run the Olympic Games later this year.
Second place finisher Mohale clocked 28:49 with teammate Desmond Mokgobu crossing the line third in 28:54.┬á Stephen Mokoka and Joel Monne finished in 28:55 and 28:59 respectively.
Twenty-four-year-old Irvette van Blerk (CGA) claimed victory in the women’s race ahead of teammate Lebo Phalula.┬áVan Blerk, who has qualified for the Olympic Games in the marathon, won the race in 33:21. ÔÇ£I really did not think I was going to win. Lebo started so fast that I only caught up at the 5km mark.┬á It was really tough,ÔÇØ said Van Blerk after mentioning that Lebo started the race like she was running the 3000m.
After doing most of the hard work, Lebo crossed the line second in 33:37.┬á Portia Ngwenya (AGN) finished third in 34:13.┬á Christine Kalmer (CGA) and Zintle Xiniwe (WPA) finished 4th and 5th, their times 34:15 and 34:45 respectively.
Sithembile Dondolo (CGA) won the junior men’s race ahead of Adam Lipshitz (KZNA) and Dithetogo Poncho (AGN) in 31:05.┬á Lipshirtz clocked 31:17 while Poncho crossed the line in 31:40.┬á In the junior women’s race Thabisa Sirayi claimed victory in 35:48 with Monique Stander (36:14) from CGA and Gauteng North’s Olivia Labuschagne (36:41) finishing in silver and bronze positions respectively.