Event: Women’s Long Distances Date of birth: 1985/04/09 Personal bests: 800m (2:03.36),...
MOKOKA AND GELANT SET FOR JOBURG BATTLE
One of the biggest rivalries in South African athletics will be reignited later this month when Stephen Mokoka and Elroy Gelant square off at the inaugural FNB Joburg City Run 10km race.
The two athletes have met three times this year, and though Gelant kicked off the season with a win at the SA 10km Championships in Sasolburg, Mokoka held the edge in the 5 000m race at the national championships on the track and again at the OneRun 12km race in Cape Town.
Gelant, who broke Mokoka’s national 5 000m record by more than six seconds when he clocked 13:04.88 in Hengelo in May, went on to finish 13th over the distance at the Rio Olympics last month.
After settling for third place at the OneRun race earlier this year, he felt confident he could deliver a more devastating kick and emerge triumphant at the Joburg contest.
“I have trained differently now to make sure that in that final kilometre I can not only stick with the leaders, but also challenge and even beat them,” he said.
Mokoka, who set the SA 10km record of 27:38 in Manchester last year, finished 18th in the 10 000m final at the Rio Games.
He was ready to face Gelant once again at a top-flight domestic race, and he called on their compatriots to join them up front in the fight for victory.
“I love racing against Elroy. He brings out the best in me,” Mokoka said.
“Hopefully our racing will encourage the others to also reach the standard that we have been setting of late so that we can be a challenge on the international circuit again.”
Mokoka and Gelant will be chased by a world-class local line-up, with a R190 000 prize purse on offer, including Olympic marathon runner Sibusiso Nzima, Gladwin Mzazi and Lucky Mohale.
For more information on the FNB Joburg City Run, to be held on September 24, visit www.joburg10k.com