World Cross Country
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SA top athlete heads to Eldoret

SA top athlete heads to Eldoret

Distance runner Elroy Gelant will spend a month training with some of the world's best athletes, with support from Athletics South Africa (ASA), as he attempts to close the gap on the dominant East African stars. He is preparing for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships Kampala 2017 event that is due at Kololo Indepedence Grounds on March 26, 2017.

"The aim for the training camp is not only the high altitude but for Elroy to be able to train with the best in the business," said Aleck Skhosana, the President of ASA.

A former World Student Games bronze medallist, Gelant took a big step forward in his career in 2013 when he reached the 5 000m final at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow and finished 20th in the senior Men's 12km race at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Bydgoszcz, and the following year he was seventh in the 3 000m final at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot and 13th at the World Half-Marathon Championships in Copenhagen.

He enjoyed a breakthrough campaign in 2016, however, with a string of impressive performances.

The 30-year-old athlete shattered Stephen Mokoka's national 5 000m record, clocking 13:04.88 in Hengelo, and he went on to earn the silver medal in his specialist track event at the CAA 20th Senior African Championships 2017 in Durban, before finishing 13th in the final at the Rio Olympics.

In his ongoing efforts to challenge his opponents at the highest level, Gelant will utilise the altitude training camp to prepare for the 2017 season by running side-by-side with the athletes he will have to beat in order to climb the international ladder.

"Our athletes can only gain from such training camps, in order to bring back our former glory in middle and long distance events," Skhosana said. “This should help his buildup to London in March for the World Champs.

"ASA will be looking to send more middle and long distance athletes to such training camps in future, as part of the federation's long-term preparation towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympics."