Louzanne smashes 5000m T11 world record in Switzerland

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Louzanne Coetzee and her guide Khothatso Mokone during the Interstate Buslines Glen Half Marathon in May. PHOTO: MORGAN PIEK

The blind Bloemfontein runner, Louzanne Coetzee, shattered her T11 5000m world record on Monday by nearly 22.96 seconds.

Coetzee set the new bench mark in Switzerland by winning the 5000m in a time of 18:14.27

In April this year she officially broke the world record in the distance for the first time during the Nedbank National Paralympic Championships in Port Elizabeth.

On the day in the Friendly City she set the record at 18:37.23 with the help of her guide, Khothatso Mokone.

On Monday during the Para-Athletics Grand Prix in Nottwil, Coetzee smashed her previous record and this was also the first time she had broken a record outside of South Africa.

This was also her second record she broke at the meet. On Thursday she broke the South African T11 800m record to set the next mark at 2:30.18 in the distance. In the T11 1500m she fell just short of a new national record, but still claimed a very respectable 4:59.54.

It’s also the first time her coach, Rufus Botha, was able to join her and Mokone overseas and she told Courant that it definitely helps.

“It’s really amazing and such a privilege to have Rufus here, it’s the first time I’ve had him overseas and it’s also the first time I’ve broken a record overseas.

“So it’s really awesome for me to have him here to witness it and just to have his advice next to me and next to the track was amazing.

“I wasn’t feeling my best on Saturday and I was just hoping for an 18:20.00, so this time is a big surprise for me.

“I’m just so happy that I could do this and it really would not have been possible without Rufus, without Serge (Mokone), without God’s grace and without the support of my family and friends and everybody else who has just been so supportive since I’ve been here.” – MORGAN PIEK