Johannesburg – Distance runner Elroy Gelant continued his fine form on Sunday, breaking the South African indoor 3 000m record for the second time in the space of a week.

Gelant finished fourth at the IAAF Indoor Permit meeting in Gent, Belgium, crossing the line in 7:39.55.

He had improved his own two-year-old national mark in Mondeville, France, a week earlier when he clocked 7:45.45.

The 27-year-old, the only South African competing at the meeting, ran a well-judged race, tucking into the middle of the pack and sticking with a seven-man breakaway group approaching the halfway stage. He held on for the rest of the race and did well to stay with the leaders on the final lap.

Former Kenyan Albert Rop, now representing Bahrain, won the race in 7:38.77, holding off the rest of the lead group in a tight sprint finish.

Gelant, one of South Africa's most versatile athletes, has qualified to compete in the World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland, and the World Half-Marathon Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark, next month. – Sapa