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SA track pair switch focus after World Indoors
- Updated: March 11, 2014
By Mark Etheridge
Our middle-distance aces Andre Olivier and Elroy Gelant are back in South Africa after the weekend’s World Indoor Championships and ready for their next challenges of the season.
Olivier and Gelant both reached their respective finals in Sopot, Poland, with Olympian Olivier ending fourth in the 800-metre final and Gelant seventh in the 3000m final.
It was Olivier’s first World Indoors and Gelant’s second after he also reached the final of the 3000m in Turkey, two years ago.
Olivier’s time was 1min 47.31sec but he wasn’t particularly pleased with his efforts. He told Road to Rio 2016: “No, I wasn’t really happy with the raceÔÇª it was just very bumpy and difficult, but I learned a lot about myself in the race.”
The Potchefstroom based athlete also put to rest any fears of injury as he appeared to tighten up markedly in the final straight. “No, when I get tired I shorten my stride a lot so that’s why it looked like that in the final straight.”
Next up is national duty. “Now I want to get ready for the SA Championships, something that’s very important to me.”
As for Gelant, he’s equally positive about the future. “My race went okay but tactically it was really a hard-fought race. I tried to keep out of trouble for the first five laps and gradually move up but it was to hard to do that because of the pushing and shoving.
“But I gained a lot from the championshipsÔÇª it was all much-needed experience. I can only work on this past weekends results going forward towards Commonwealth games and eventually Rio 2016 and to be a podium contender in the 5000m at the Olympics.”
More immediately though and more international duty beckons for Gelant, like Olivier, also based in Potchefstroom. “Now I switch focus in training to get ready for the world half-marathon championships and I think SA can really deliver a gutsy performance at the champs and I’m looking forward to run with Stephen Mokoka and Lusapho April in one team.
“And then on the track again, the 5000m and 3000m this season I’m hoping to definitely better my personal best times and to be ranked higher on the IAAF table.”