27 August 2021 | Story Ruan Bruwer
Louzanne Coetzee at the Paralympics in Tokyo with her two guides, Claus Kempen (left) and Estean Badenhorst. She is one of 34 members in Team South Africa.

For some athletes, the postponement of the Paralympics was a big frustration, but for Louzanne Coetzee it was a ‘blessing in disguise’.

According to the former University of the Free State (UFS) student and current Residence Head of Akasia on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus, she was more than happy to get another 12 months to prepare herself to the very best of her ability. She will be in action at the Tokyo Paralympics in the 1 500 m on Sunday (29 August 2021) and Monday (30 August). On 5 September, she will tackle the marathon. It is her second Paralympics. 

“This is the most exited I have ever been for an event. It has been so long since I was able to compete on a high level. I think it is a blessing in disguise. It allowed me more time to prepare. I’m in a great state and I cannot wait,” she said.

In the 1 500 m, Coetzee will be guided by Estean Badenhorst. In the marathon she will run next to Claus Kempen, with whom she has completed a couple of marathons before.
“They are both very experienced and I’m fortunate to have such a great team with me. When you are running an event like the 1 500 m, you need to fully trust your guide with his decision making.”

“The main focus is the track item. I won’t put too much pressure on myself in the marathon. The prime goal is to gain experience in the longer distance, because that is where I’ll be shifting in the future,” she explained.

The South African 1 500 m record holder in the T11 classification (totally blind) clocked a personal best time of 4:51.65 in 2019. She is the world record holder in the 5 000 m; however, the item does not feature on the Paralympic programme. 

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.