By Mark Etheridge
World indoor 3000-metre finalist Elroy Gelant learnt some valuable lessons as he mixed it with the big boys at Thursday night’s Samsung Diamond League meeting in Oslo, Norway.
He ended 18th in 13min 32.21sec behind world champion bronze medallist Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia (12:58.92).
Gelant, also the 10km road champion, says he took some valuable lessons from the race. “I felt good until four laps to go, I think I went out too fast in the first 3000m, but athletics is still a learning school for me and I’ve learned a lot from last night’s race. This was my first 5000m in Europe and I’ll have another go in Slovenia on 14 June,” he told Road to London 2012 on Friday.
Meanwhile, South African youngster Jacques de Swardt ran a personal best at an athletics meeting in Rhede, Germany on Thursday.
The teenager, who turns 20 in August, clocked 46.06 seconds for the men’s 400m event. He ended second in the race with national SA 400m champ Ofentse Mogawane third in 46:06.
That beat his previous best of 46.08, set in Germiston in 2010. His time was reward for the patience showed after tearing his hamstring just before South African championships in Port Elizabeth last month.
“It was so close to 45, I’m flirting with it,” said De Swardt on Friday. “I’ve waited two years for a new PB so it was certainly worth the wait.”
This was De Swardt’s fourth race on his European campaign. His performance curve shows a nice trend with his last three times of 46.9, 46.67 and now 46.06 getting ever quicker.
“I’ll hopefully run again within the next few days, don’t know the exact dates yet but I just want to race as much as I can before 30 June to try and prove my fitness for the team relay hopefully and taking baby steps right now,” he told Road to London 2012.
Olympic A standard for the 400m is 45.30sec with the B standard pegged at 45.90.