Elroy Gelant to strengthen South Africa’s Olympic Marathon team

It's thumbs up today for in-form athlete, Elroy Gelant. Photo - Stephen Granger

Elroy is packing for Paris!

South African leading distance athlete, Elroy Gelant, received the best news of the year, with confirmation that he had been allocated a late position in the Olympic Marathon team for Paris in August.

Gelant has been in the form of his life in recent weeks, underlined by his national half marathon title in Gqeberha over the weekend, and was delighted at the news.

“This is great news!” said Gelant. “I received a call from ASA a couple of days ago. They said that World Athletics had contacted them to ask whether they might still accept the quota position for the marathon based on world ranking.

“The possible additional position was on the basis that there might be some withdrawals or countries choosing to use their quota position in another event.  

“Looking at the latest World Athletics ‘Road to Paris’ qualification table today, it seems like I’m in!”

Elroy Gelant (second from right) and the South African Olympic Marathon Team in Sapporo, Japan, in 2021. Photo – courtesy Hendrick Ramaala

World Athletics Director of Communications, Jamie Fox, had told SPNAfrica last month that it was “likely that (some countries) will soon confirm a preference for a universality entry in the 100m.  Upon receipt of which, World Athletics will be able reallocate these places, if room in the quota allows.”

ASA Road Running Commission chair, Enoch Skosana, confirmed that this was indeed the case and that ASA President James Moloi had played a significant role in facilitating Gelant’s inclusion.

Apart from Gelant (who was the second world-ranked athlete to make the cut), other athletes who had a spring in their step in their training today were Chilean Hugo Catrileo (first world-ranked athlete to qualify), American CJ Albertson (3rd ranked, although it would appear that another American, Leonard Korir might be chosen ahead of him) and Australian Liam Adams.

World Athletics Road to Paris (men’s marathon) table, indicating the four athletes added to the Olympic Marathon competition via World Ranking

Catrileo and Gelant are their respective country’s second athlete to make the cut for the men’s marathon (Stephen Mokoka being South Africa’s first) while Albertson and Adams are their country’s third athlete, thus completing their teams.