The memory of Elana Meyer celebrating with Derartu Tulu after the 1992 Olympic 10,000 m final in Barcelona rightly has its place in history, not just for athletics but as a symbol of the sport creating a bridge across what had once seemed an impossible divide.
Tulu of Ethiopia had just won the gold medal while Meyer had taken the silver for South Africa, the first of her country’s medallists on its return to the Olympic fold as the apartheid era came to an end.
Meyer remains intent on achievement but now her goal is to help raise standards in South African marathon running at the elite level. Playing a leading role in the management of the Cape Town Marathon, she hopes the cream of the nation’s young distance talent will turn their attentions to this classic distance.
During the past weekend Meyer was a guest of honour at the Volkswagen Prague Marathon. She competed in a marathon relay event on Sunday, teaming up with former marathon world record holder Ingrid Kristiansen of Norway and Czech long distance stars Robert Stefko and Anezka Drahotova.
“It means so much to me to be running in Prague, the city of Emil Zatopek. He was an idol of mine when I began to run, I wanted to emulate him and run all the distance events, from 5,000 to the marathon,” said Elana Meyer.