Another record for blind FS athlete

2019-09-11 06:00
Louzanne Coetzee and her guide, Estean Badenhorst.Photo: Supplied

Louzanne Coetzee and her guide, Estean Badenhorst.Photo: Supplied

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Free State and South Africa blind athlete Louzanne Coetzee continues to conquer, having broken yet another national record.

The South African 1 500 m record in the T11 classification (totally blind) will have the same name next to it, but a new time – as the previous record also belonged to Louzanne.

She clocked a personal best time of 4:51.65 at the Paris Para Athletics Grand Prix meeting held from 29-30 August.

Her time in Paris was good enough to take her to a second Paralympic Games. The qualification standards for the games in Tokyo is 6:20.00.

Louzanne set her previous record at the World Para Championships in London in July 2017.

Estean Badenhorst is her guide and accompanied her.

“I have run with him before but couldn’t make use of his services last year due to his study commitments. It is a great privilege to run with him. Estean is a fantastic strategic guide. I hope we can join forces again in the future,” Coetzee said.

The all-conquering blind runner is also the world record holder in the 5 000 m and the African record holder in the 800 m.

Louzanne has shifted her focus now to the 1 500 m, because the 800 m and 5 000 m are not on the paralympic programme. She will participate at the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai early in November.

“This is now my main focus in the run-up to the Paralympics next year,” said Louzanne.

She has already qualified for the Paralympics in the marathon but this will play second fiddle to the track.

This year she is doing her Master’s degree in Social Cohesion and Reconciliation Studies at the University of the Free State.

According to her coach, Rufus Botha, time in Paris was excellent.

“This predicts a great World Champs where Louzanne seems ready for her first medal at a World Championship,” he said.


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