Event: Women’s Long Distances Date of birth: 1985/04/09 Personal bests: 800m (2:03.36),...
SA MEN READY FOR FOREIGN ONSLAUGHT IN CAPE TOWN
Elroy Gelant and Lusapho April challenging Ethiopia’s Bonsa Dida at last year’s World Half-Marathon Championships in Copenhagen
Some of South Africa’s top distance runners are gearing up to face a world-class international line-up at the inaugural FNB OneRun in Cape Town next week.
In the absence of national 5 000m record holder Stephen Mokoka, who will compete at the Great Manchester Run in England on Sunday, the domestic field in the men’s race will be spearheaded by Elroy Gelant, Lusapho April and Gladwin Mzazi.
Gelant hopes to mix it up at the front of the 12km race, after recovering from a hamstring niggle that derailed his campaign at the SA Senior Championships in Stellenbosch last month.
“I know the Kenyans will run as a group. They always do,” Gelant said on Thursday.
“My goal is to get in between them and stay with them to try and spoil the party.”
April, who finished 13th at the Boston Marathon less than three weeks ago, is also eager to face a world-class field on SA soil, as he steps down in distance.
“It is going to be a great race… but we will have to race hard,” April predicted.
World Student Games half-marathon champion Mzazi, who trains with Mokoka, agrees with his compatriots that they can put up a fight.
It won’t be easy, however, with the line-up including the likes of former World Championships 10 000m bronze medallist Moses Masai and three-time Commonwealth Games champion Moses Kipsiro.
“We always have to travel to race athletes of this calibre, so it’s really good for us to have them at home for a change,” Mzazi said.
“Of course it means we need to bring our A game. We cannot let them come here and take our title.”
Local athletes Joel Mmone, Lucky Mohale and William Kaptein have also been confirmed in the elite men’s field for the May 17 race.
The women’s event is expected to be equally exciting, with Kenyan Vivian Cheruiyot lining up as the favourite against a small international contingent and a full-strength domestic field.