Willem Coertzen

Updated: January 24, 2013

Event: Men’s Decathlon
Date of birth: 1982/12/30
Personal bests: 100m (10.88), 400m (48.32), 1 500m (4:22.22), 110mH (14.06), High Jump (2.08m), Pole Vault (4.65m), Long Jump (7.58m), Shot Put (14.50m), Discus Throw (44.84m), Javelin Throw (69.40m), Decathlon (8 398 points, SA record)
Major achievements:
Javelin Throw: 2008 African Championships, Addis Ababa (3rd, final)
Decathlon: 2008 African Championships, Addis Ababa (2nd, final); 2009 World Championships, Berlin (14th, final); 2012 Olympic Games, London (9th, final); 2013 World Championships, Moscow (9th, final)

A steady rise over a few seasons saw Willem Coertzen stamp his authority as South Africa’s best ever multi-disciplined track and field athlete. Coertzen improved the national decathlon record for the first time in May 2009, and later that year he surpassed the 800-points mark for the first time. He was 14th at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, and while he did not finish the two-day event at the 2011 global championships in Daegu, he bounced back the following season. Coertzen improved his national best to 8 244 points at the 2012 SA Championships in Port Elizabeth, and took an impressive ninth place at the London Olympic Games.
He again finished ninth at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, breaking his own SA record and the African mark with 8 343 points, which he improved further when he racked up 3 398 at a meeting in Gotzis in May 2015.
Battling with injuries, however, he was unable to complete the 10-discipline event at any of the major international championships held between 2014 and 2016.