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After his ‘double’ Gelant lines up for road championships
- Updated: September 19, 2013
There’s no peace for the wicked and there’s certainly no peace for the multi-talented Elroy Gelant, writes Mark Etheridge.
Gelant, the very opposite of wicked and one of the most likeable athletes around, ran his way into the South African history books by becoming the first athlete to win both the long and short versions of the national off-road title.
Lining up for the SA cross-country championships on home turf in Potchefstroom, he first won the 12km event, with a time of 37min 43sec, beating Central Gauteng’s Dericious Makhobalo by almost 50sec and after the minimum of recovery times went on win the 4km event in 11min 55sec.
“It was quite a challenge for me this weekend,” he told Road to Rio 2016. “I think what motivated me to go for both titles is that I knew no South African has been able to win two titles on one day. Also I was defining champion for the 12km and really wanted to defend my title.
“The 12km was very much a tactical race because guys like Stephen Mokoka and Gladwin Mzazi weren’t there so I was able to save some energy during the race. I only had 30min between each event to recover.”
“So the 4km was quite a challenge because I knew there were some fast guys lining up, like Jeromy Andreas and Mtobisis Baloyi.
“I just stuck with the bunch till the last kilometre and then I pulled away. I was quite surprised because I thought they’d come past me with their fresh legs.”
The women’s titles went to Central Gauteng’s Lebo Phalula in the 8km (29:45) and Cary-Ann Smith of KwaZulu-Natal in the 4km (15:08).