2024 Jun 01



ASA Media

ASA Offices
ASA Media
2024 Jun 01

In-form distance runner Elroy Gelant earned his first national 21km title, and compatriot Glenrose Xaba won her fifth in succession, at the ASA Half-Marathon Championships incorporated in the NMB Half-Marathon in Gqeberha on Saturday.

Gelant overcame horrible conditions to outclass a quality international line-up in the men's race, taking the win in 1:03:54 in the colours of Athletics Central North West (ACNW). He added the 21km crown to the national marathon title he recently won in Durban.

Former SA champion Precious Mashele, representing Central Gauteng Athletics (CGA), finished third overall in the open race but secured the silver medal in the national championships in 1:04:05. Defending champion Thabang Mosiako was fifth in 1:04:15, securing bronze for host province Eastern Province Athletics (EPA).

"I wasn't sure if I should race here because it's been a tough year. I've run two marathons," Gelant said. "But I've never won the national 21km title, so I stuck to my guns in my preparation and told myself I'm going to go for the win today.

"I'm doing a lot of mileage in training, which is working for me. Balance is important and I don't want to overdo it, but I think that's why I've been able to remain consistent this year."

In the women's race, Xaba was the first South African. This  continued her domestic dominance over the 21.1 km distance, finishing fourth overall in 1:13:42 in the open race to win gold for Athletics Gauteng North (AGN) in the national championships. Cacisile Sosibo (CGA) was fifth in 1:13:51, earning silver, and Irvette van Zyl (AGN) was ninth overall in 1:16:21, securing bronze.

Ethiopian athlete Tadu Nare won the race, held in cold and wet conditions, in 1:12:01.

"I'm very disappointed about the weather because in the shape I'm in I was hoping for better conditions to run a faster time," Xaba said. "But we can't control the weather and I'm very happy to defend my title. I'm looking forward to the rest of the season."

The President of Athletics South Africa, James Moloi, said: "Qheberha lived to its reputation as the country's windy city where the weather was at its meanest. The wind was either blowing them off a  steady run or running againg it after the loop. Meanwhile, there was also a relentless rain that was pelting nonstop. 

"But what really touched the heart was to see the enthusiasm and the will to to race and finish the race. We congratulate all the athletes who participated under these unfriendly conditions and also wish well those athletes who finished in the top three, who now form the preliminary squad to the World Athlerics Road Running Championships next year."

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About Athletics South Africa:
Athletics South Africa (ASA) is the national governing body for the sport of athletics (including Track and Field, Cross Country, Road Running and Race Walking) in South Africa, is a member of World Athletics  and the Confederation of African Athletics.  The association was formed in 1995 and is based in Johannesburg.