Athlete wins top award

2019-06-26 06:03
Louzanne Coetzee

Louzanne Coetzee

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All-conquering blind athlete Louzanne Coetzee (26) has described her athletics year as challenging, very exciting and a beginning of a new journey.

The Bloemfontein-based world-renowned blind runner’s remarks comes after being awarded the prestigious Free State Sports Association for the Physically Disabled (FSSAPD) sports star of the year award.

This is the fourth consecutive year she was chosen as the deserving recipient of the top accolade.

Recognition is for impressive performance for June 2018 to April 2019.

Coetzee set a world record and an Africa record in the T11 category of the 5 000 m.

The paralympian went on to ran two marathons in which she came close to a second world record.

Coetzee set a world record of just 13.97 seconds off the time in the wo­men’s 5 000 m at the World Para Athletics Grand Prix held in Berlin, Germany. She set a new African record with 2.25 minutes.

Coetzee, who is doing her masters degree in Social Cohesion and Reconciliation Stu­dies at the University of the Free State, met the qualifying time for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo during the London Marathon in April.

Only in her second Berlin Marathon in September, she fell just 26 seconds short of the T11 (totally blind) world record time.

“Marathons are definitely challenging and a new field for me, but I would say it has been a good 12 months. My aim is now set on next year’s Paralympic Games, where I would like to compete in the marathon and the 1 500 m.

“I hope to run a good time in the 1 500 m at the World Para Athle­tics Championships in November,” said Coetzee.

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