Sun, 12 Jul 2020

SA's Gelant eager for 2020 Olympic qualification

14 Sep 2019, 05:43 GMT+10

Cape Town - South African distance runner Elroy Gelant has the 2020 Olympic Games on his mind as he competes in this weekend's Sanlam Cape Town Marathon.

Gelant, who competed at the Rio Olympics, will be hoping to secure a spot at next year's Tokyo Games.

Athletics South Africa announced at the Cape Town Marathon press conference on Friday that Sunday's 42.2km race could see South African athletes qualify for the global event.

The men's qualifying time is 2:11.30, while the women's qualifying time is 2:29.30.

Gelant, who finished 13th in the men's 5 000m in Rio, stated that he was hoping to break sub-2 hours and 9 minutes to secure his Olympic spot.

"I'm excited for Sunday, especially the thought of qualifying for the Olympic Games in Tokyo," Gelant told Sport24 on Friday at the Cullinan Hotel.

"To run a 2:11.30, I'm feeling really positive as preparations went well and I'm looking for a sub-2:09 and to get the Olympic spot.

"It's a bit different this time around, at the previous Olympics I qualified for the 5 000m track but this time around it'll be for road running. With the Olympic Games or even World Championships, it's always a strategic type of race."

Gelant admitted that he wants more than a participation badge in Tokyo.

"If I qualify for the Olympics, it would definitely be to win a medal, you can't go to the Olympics to just participate. You're there to get a medal for your country," said Gelant.

"After the Cape Town Marathon and if I qualify, it'll be total focus on Tokyo, which you got less than 12 months of preparations. But in between I'll still see if I can run some races and see if I can make sub-60 in a 21km race but the total focus will be leading up or going to the Olympics next year."

The Cape Town Marathon main race gets underway on Sunday from 06:40.

The marathon's jam-packed diary includes:

Saturday, September 14

Race registration and expo at Century City Conference Centre

Two Peace Trail Runs (22km and 12km) and 5km Peace Run

Captains Challenge breakfast with Francois Pienaar

Afternoon high tea for women in sport and health at Tsogo Sun Cullinan Hotel

Sunday, September 15

42.2km Marathon

10km Peace Run

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