Kovsies join SA cross-country team

2018-02-21 06:01
From the left are Louzanne Coetzee, Xavier Adams and Marné Mentz. Photo: Supplied

From the left are Louzanne Coetzee, Xavier Adams and Marné Mentz. Photo: Supplied

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Two dynamic athletes of the University of the Free State (UFS), blind runner Louzanne Coetzee, as well as Marné Mentz, will compete at the 2018 World Student Cross-Country Championship on 7 April in St Gallen, Switzerland.

The pair has been included in the South African national students’ cross-country team to represent the country at this year’s global event.

The athletes have been included in the national team on their merited performances displayed at the Athletics South Africa cross-country trials held at the UFS in January. The Kovsie duo competed in the 10 km event.

Coetzee will be competing against able-bodied runners.

This world record holder in the 5 000 m in her disability category (T-11) and her new guide, Xavier Adams, finished first among the female students in a time of 39:32, which is her personal best.

Mentz ended in second place in 39:44. They will make up two of the six spots in the women’s team that is set to compete in Switzerland.

Coetzee’s inclusion sees her continuing to make history. This is the first time she was chosen for an able-bodied national team.

The all-conquering middle-distance blind track athlete Coetzee did exceptionally well at the 2017 World Athletics Championship for Athletes with Physical Disabilities and Visual Impairment staged in London during July.

She goes to this year’s global competition with a new guide, Adams. Her long-time guide is Khothatso Mokone.

With her new guide, Coetzee (24) will attempt to emulate the success achieved with Mokone.

This talented runner is completing a master’s degree in Reconciliation and Social Cohesion this year, while teammate Mentz (21) is in her final year of a B.Ed Intermediate Phase degree.

Another talented Kovsie, Kesa Molotsane, will not be part of the South African team going to the World Student Cross-Country Championship. She no longer qualifies as a student due being over the age of 25, according to University Sport South Africa regulations.

However, at the recent cross-country event staged in Bloemfontein, she proved she still has what it takes, finishing as the overall winner. She clocked in at 35:29.

Molotsane (26) is doing a BA honours degree this year.

She competes in the open division. She is the 2016 national cross-country champion and last year she obtained second place.

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