Updated: April 22, 2016

Verstile distance runners Stephen Mokoka and Elroy Gelant are expected to lead the local challenge against a world-class line-up next month, after being included in the elite men’s field for the FNB OneRun road race in Cape Town.
They would toe the line against all three men who reached the podium at last year’s inaugural 12km event, organisers confirmed, after Kenyans Emmanuel Bett and Daniel Salel, who pushed each other to the line and missed the world best of 33:31 by just one second, and third-placed Ugandan Timothy Toroitich were all revealed among the elite international entries earlier this week.
Gelant was the first South African home in 2015, while Mokoka had missed the race in order to focus on the Great Manchester Run in England where he set a national 10km record of 27:38.
The duo said they would combine in a joint form of resistance against the foreign onslaught, in search of a local victory.
“In 2015 I was training for the 1 500m, so I lacked the endurance to stay with Bett, Salel and Toroitich when they moved, but this year I am healthy, fit and really looking forward to the challenge,” said Gelant, who clocked 13:20.70 over 5 000m at the recent ASA Night Series meeting in Cape Town to qualify for the Rio Olympics.
“Both Stephen and I believe we can take the race to the Kenyans. We love that they are coming to South Africa to race, but we do not want them to beat us on home soil, so we will do our best to make sure that it is a South African that tops the podium.”
Mokoka, who successfully defended his 5 000m and 10 000m titles at the SA Senior Championships in Stellenbosch last week, was eager for the rare opportunity to face international opponents at home.
“In 2015 I had prior commitments, so I could not race in Cape Town,” Mokoka said.
“This year is different and I am in.  Elroy and I want that win badly.”
The elite women’s field for the race, to be held in the Mother City on May 15, would be announced at a later stage.