By Mark Etheridge
A national 800-metre track record on Thursday and a world record 5000m four days later… there’s just no stopping South Africa’s Rio Paralympian Louzanne Coetzee.
The totally blind Bloemfontein blitz wrapped up her three-race campaign at the Para-Athletics Grand Prix in Notwill, Switzerland with an impressive improvement of her own T11 5000m mark to 18min 14.27sec on Monday.
Her previous world mark was set on home soil at the Netbank National Championships for the Disabled when she won in 18:37.23.
The new national 800m mark behind her name stands at 2:30.18 while she also had a solid 4:59.54 in Saturday’s 1500m event.
‘To be honest I just didn’t expect this time,’ Coetzee told the SASCOC website after her record-breaking run.
‘I was feeling quite sick and had a blocked nose when I woke up this morning. So coach Rufus Botha just told me to go and enjoy the race and not worry about any targets.
‘We were going for around 18:20 and I was very surprised that I could push hard and give a lot for the last lap.’
Added Botha: ‘Lausanne and Khothatso Mokone [her guide] both just stuck to their targets, given that she knew she had woken up ill, and it was impressive that they had a blistering last 600m.
‘Looking ahead we’re still waiting for confirmation that she’ll be in the team for World Championships in London and then we’ll plan further.’
In the picture a proud coach Botha is flanked by runner Coetzee and guide Mokone in Switzerland