Event: Women’s Long Distances Date of birth: 1985/04/09 Personal bests: 800m (2:03.36),...
COERTZEN SMASHES SA DECATHLON RECORD
Making a spectacular comeback from injury, Willem Coertzen broke his own SA decathlon record at the IAAF Combined Events Challenge in Gotzis, Austria, at the weekend.
Coertzen, competing against 27 of the world’s most versatile athletes, compiled 8 398 points to improve his national mark of 8 343 set at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow.
He was competing in his first decathlon event of the season, after withdrawing from last year’s Commonwealth Games and African Championships with an ankle injury, and bruising his chest in a freak accident at the gym earlier this year.
“I’ve been in good shape but didn’t expect it from my first comp of the year,” Coertzen said.
The 32-year-old athlete improved his personal bests in the 1 500m (4:22.22), shot put (14.14m), and discus throw (44.84m).
He finished less than 70 points behind German winner Kai Kazmirek, who racked up 8 462, and World Championships silver medallist Michael Schrader, who earned 8 415.
“I just wanted to compete and be injury free,” Coertzen said.
“So I’m quite happy with how it went and it’s a good sign of things ahead.”