5 November 2017

South Africa: Gelant, Molotsane Crowned SA 10km Champs

Elroy Gelant and Kesa Molotsane raced to victory at the ASA 10-kilometre road running championships in Mbombela on Saturday.

Representing Athletics Central North West (ACNW), Gelant launched a late kick to retain his title in the men's race, covering the distance in 29min 08sec.

Gladwin Mzazi took the silver medal in 29:15 and fellow Central Gauteng Athletics (CGA) team member Precious Mashele, who is also the national cross country champion, was third in 29:17.

'I'm very glad to defend my title today and I'm very happy with my performance,' said Gelant. 'It was very technical from start to finish because around 8-10 km we were still about 10 guys.

'So, I just focused on my strength towards the end and my speed. The last kilometre Gladwin and I broke away and it was a sprint to the finish.

'I'm glad how the season went especially after not going to IAAF World Champs for the 5 000km and (shifting my) focus on the marathon. But the focus is a four-year plan and the big aim is the Tokyo Olympics marathon. Possibly the year before, I'll do another marathon.

'But for now I'll stay on the track because there are still things I want to achieve, that's why I'm happy with the time I achieved today especially inland.'

Mzazi, at second place, was satisfied with his performance as well. 'I felt very good, I just didn't have the speed to go with Elroy at the end,' said Mzazi, who led CGA to gold in the team division. 'Next year I will work on that.'

Aiming for her maiden SA title on the road, Molotsane broke away with less than three kilometres remaining to win the women's race in 33:38.

She finished 20 seconds clear of Nolene Conrad of Western Province and Glenrose Xaba of Athletics Gauteng North took bronze in 34:25.

Defending champion Lebo Phalula (CGA) had to settle for fourth place, a further 22 seconds behind.

'It was a really nice, comfortable course,' Molotsane said. 'I love hills and it was a bit hilly, but it was reasonable. Not bad hills where you have to struggle to get on top of it, so I enjoyed the route.'

A total of 291 athletes, representing 14 of Athletics South Africa's 17 provinces, were in the provisional entry lists for the annual 10km championships.

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