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05 June 2019 | Story Ruan Bruwer
Louzanne Coetzee
Athlete Louzanne Coetzee with the trophy of the Free State Sports Association for the Physically Disabled as Sports Star of the Year.

Although challenging, very exciting and a new journey, says Louzanne Coetzee about the athletics year for which she has been recognised.

The 26-year-old, who is doing her master’s in Social Cohesion and Reconciliation Studies at the University of the Free State, won the Free State Sports Association for the Physically Disabled (FSSAPD) Sports Star of the Year award for a fourth consecutive time. This was for the period June 2018 to April 2019.

In that time, she set a world record, an Africa record, and ran two marathons in which she came amazingly close to a second world record.

Only in her second marathon at the Berlin Marathon in September, the Paralympian fell 26 seconds short of the T11 (totally blind) world record time. She met the qualifying time for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo during the London Marathon in April.

“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.”

At the SASAPD National Championships for physically disabled and visually impaired athletes in April 2019, Coetzee won three gold medals and set a record in the 1 500 m. 

Others from the UFS also honoured

Coetzee has received several awards in her career, but says it is always special to be rewarded by her own federation (FSSAPD). 

Danie Breitenbach (T11) was also honoured as the Senior Male Sports Star. He bagged two gold medals and one silver and set a SA record in both the 800 m and 1 500 m at the nationals. Another Kovsie, Dineo Mokhosoa (F36 – coordination impairments), received a merit award for her gold medal in shot-put and silver in the discus at the national champs.

News Archive

Wayde Van Niekerk makes sprinting history
2016-03-13

He is the world champion in the 400 m, the South African Sports Star for 2015, and now Kovsie student Wayde van Niekerk has achieved something nobody else has done before.

On 12 March 2016, Van Niekerk became the first athlete in history to run the 100 m under 10 seconds, the 200 m under 20 seconds, and the 400 m under 44 seconds. Van Niekerk achieved this feat, which was confirmed by the IAAF, when he ran a personal best in the 100 m at the Free State Championships in his hometown of Bloemfontein.

His time of 9.98 seconds in the 100 m improved his previous best by 0.47 seconds. Van Niekerk ran his previous best back in 2011 and didn’t compete much in this event during the last couple of years.

“We, as the UFS leadership, are enormously proud of this historic achievement of Wayde, who embodies our values of academic commitment and human decency in every way,” said Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the University of the Free State (UFS).

He was congratulated by many people on social media over the weekend. AB de Villiers, the Proteas' test and one-day cricket captain, was one of a few well-known people who congratulated Van Niekerk on Twitter.
“@WaydeDreamer don’t know the man, but WOW. Take a bow,” De Villiers tweeted.

A humble Van Niekerk thanked De Villiers and wished him good luck for the upcoming T20 World Cup in India.

The 23-year old Van Niekerk said on his Instagram account that it was a childhood dream to run a sub 10, and expressed his thanks to his supporters.  

On 11 March 2016, Van Niekerk won the 200 m at the Free State Championships in 20.97 seconds. His best in this event is 19.94 seconds.

More articles:

Van Niekerk makes sprinting history in Bloemfontein (IAAF)

UFS community proud of Wayde’s hat trick of awards

Wayde nominated with SA’s best

Wayde one of the Adidas faces for Rio 2016

NBC tells Wayde’s story 

Wayde, Karla crowned as KovsieSport’s best

UFS congratulates Wayde van Niekerk and other students for their national and international

Kovsies Wayde van Niekerk wins gold at the IAAF World Championship

 

 

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