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Elroy into 3000m final

Elroy Gelant qualified for the final of the 3000-metre event at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Istanbul, Turkey on Friday night, writes Mark Etheridge.

Gelant was one of two South African athletes in action on the opening night of the three-day event.

The other, Burger Lambrechts, failed to progress in the shot put event.

Gelant, originally from Pacaltsdorp but now based in Potchefstroom, and the winner of the recent national cross-country trials, ended eighth in his heat.

He clocked 7min 52.35sec behind winner Edwin Cheruiyot Sol of Kenya, who won with a 7:49.48 clocking.

Gelant will go into the final as the 10th fastest of 10 athletes.

Lambrecht could only manage a heave of 18.96m in the shot put qualification rounds.

The top three qualifiers all reached well over 21m, with Germany’s David Storl best with a 21.43m effort. The eighth and final qualifier was Maksim Sidorov of Russia with a 20.04 effort.

Lambrechts ended 17th of 23 first round throwers.

Team South Africa’s only other representative is Lehann Fourie, who runs the 60m hurdles heats on Saturday morning.

The other original member of the team, Olympic silver medallist long jumper Khotso Mokoena, withdrew from the team, preferring to concentrate on his preparations for the 2012 Games in London.