Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
12 Mar 2014
7:00 am

Long road ahead for gallant runner Gelant

Wesley Botton

Gelant was seventh in the men's 3 000m final at the World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland, on Sunday.

“My goal was to be in the top six, but I knew it was going to be hard and I’m pleased with my seventh place,” he said.

Gelant had finished 12th at the previous World Indoor Championships in Istanbul two years ago, and also reached the final of last year’s outdoor showpiece in Moscow.

Showcasing his tremendous versatility last season, he finished 20th in the senior men’s 12km race at the World Cross Country Championships in Bydgoszcz, and narrowly missed Shadrack Hoff’s 19-year-old national 5 000m record of 13:14.16, clocking a career best of 13:15.87 in Heusden Zolder.

He got off to a great start this season, lowering his own national indoor 3 000m record to 7:39.55 in Ghent last month when he became the first South African to dip under 7:40.00, either indoors or outdoors.

“I’m really looking forward to a good season this year, especially running the 5 000m,” he said.

“I would love to better my 3 000m and 5 000m outdoor times.”

After finishing third at the SA Half-Marathon Championships in East London in September, he will now gear up for the World Half-Marathon Championships in Copenhagen at the end of this month.

He concedes there is a long road ahead, but Gelant hopes to take another step forward in the Danish capital, and is confident he has the ability to snatch a medal at two major international events in 2016.

“There is still lots of space for improvement but I think Sopot was a great stepping stone towards the coming summer season in Europe.”