Coetzee narrowly misses the T11 marathon world record

Louzanne Coetzee and her guide Xavier Adams on her way to shattering the T11 5000m world record in Berlin. PHOTO: REINHARDT HAMMAN

The Bloemfontein Paralympian, Louzanne Coetzee, narrowly missed out on another world record on Sunday during the annual Berlin Marathon in Germany.

In just her second ever 42.2km race, the blind Coetzee completed the route in 3:13:41.

She fell just 26 seconds short of the T11 marathon world record time of 3:13:15, which is held by China’s Jin Zheng.

Coetzee was guided by the Bloemfontein businessman, Claus Kempen, during the race. The pair were assisted by Godfrey Ramokone who played the dual role of serving as a pace-runner, and in the process, he also ensured that the path was clear for them to run.

At the 25km mark, Coetzee, was well within in the record pace, however, slowed down considerably during over the next 15 km. Amazingly they were able to up the pace for the final 2.2km, to an average of 04:23 per kilometre.

Last year, during the Soweto Marathon, Coetzee clocked a time of 3:31:12, meaning that she has improved her personal best by nearly 18 minutes. On that day, Kempen was also Coetzee’s guide.

Berlin is a happy hunting ground for Coetzee, has it there where she qualified to compete at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. Earlier in the year, Coetzee, broke her own 5000m world record in the city, during the Para-Athletics Grand Prix meet.

Xavier Adams, also went over to Berlin as Coetzee’s guide, however, did not part take in the race due to injury. – MORGAN PIEK