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Coertzen cooks in Austria

Willem Coertzen, SA record holder in the decathlon hit a memorable milestone in Gotzis, Austria on Sunday when he became the first South African and only second African to better 8 000 points. He finished 11th overall in the 35th Hypo Decathlon and Heptathlon two-day meeting with a score of 8 054 points.

His fine effort not only bettered the A qualifying mark of 8 000
points for the 2009 World Championships but also surpassed the African and
South African records of 8 023 and 7 907 held respectively by Hamdi Dhouibi
of Tunisia and himself. He also set personal best performances in seven
of the 10 events.

Twenty-six-year-old Coertzen, based in London, has now set SA records in three of his
last four competition, in Mauritius a year ago, Italy two weeks ago and now in the
prestigious Austrian classic.

He has now become the 10th SA athlete this year to book a seat on the plane
to the World Championships in Berlin