Elroy Gelant needs no introduction when it comes to middle/long distance in South Africa and after recently breaking the 5000m South African record, his name is about to get even bigger. Gelant, who hails from George in the Western Cape, is a man full of smiles and his sense of humour is one to take note! Let’s get to know Elroy Gelant before he heads to the Rio Olympic Games later this year:

What is your nickname? “Roy, short for my name and I got it from the family”

What high school did you attend? “Pacaltsdorp Primary School and Outeniqua High School, both in George”

Favourite series and movie? “Power and Bad-Boys”

Describe yourself in three words? “Happy, love and people-person”

One thing people do not know about you? “I grew up in the mountains (Jonkersberg)” (No wonder he climbs hills like it’s nothing mmm)

Who is your coach? “Jean Verster”

Highlights of your athletics career? “The first time I represented South Africa at the World Championships in South-Korea and also breaking the South African 5000m record” (If you meet him, you will not know that this star boasts with such performances, talk about ‘plat op die aarde’)  

Who is your role-model and why? “Uncle Donny (Donovan Wright), firstly because we are from the same home-town Pacaltsdorp and secondly because Uncle Donny has shown throughout his life that he will persevere no matter what life threw at him. Despite the difficult times, he remains positive and today he is facing difficult obstacles, but because of the person he is, he will overcome this and that shows true character and perseverance” (A true role-model indeed)

Favourite music and artist? “R&B, Hip Hop, Soul and surely Chris Brown and Luther Vandross” (rather slow tempo music for such a fast guy hehe)

Craziest thing you have ever done? “Had a 3 litre sack of wine just before training with Bongani Mgamani, I was really naughty in my ‘snotkop’ student years” (Joh, any comments? Hehehe)

Elroy’s success only came years later, but consistency, hard work, persistence and will to win is paying off now! He is better known as ‘Boeta’ to many youngsters who look up to him, so Boeta, Backtrack and the South African Athletics community would like to wish you all the best with your Olympic dream!