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6 June 2017


Two Free State athletes, Louzanne Coetzee and Wayde van Niekerk, continue to break international records and raise the bar very high as they strive to fly the South African flag on international stages. On Monday 05 June 2017, the blind Bloemfontein runner, Louzanne Coetzee, broke her T11 5000m world record 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 05 June 2017 during the Para-Athletics Grand Prix in Nottwil, Coetzee broke her previous record and this was also the first time she had broken a record outside of South Africa. In 2016 Coetzee was also part of the South African team at the 2016 Rio Paralympics and the World Record holder in the 5000m race.
Coetzee is also the current African Champion in the 1500m race. The department has been consistent in providing technical support to both Coetzee and her guide Khothatso Mokone who are currently training at the Free State Sport Science Institute (FSSSI) and they are also supported by the Free State Academy of Sport.
In other news, the Olympic champion Wayde van Niekerk is also aims to successfully complete the 400m and 200m at the London IAAF World Championships later in August. Van Niekerk is expected to compete in his specialist 400m race but he is also aiming to win gold in the 200m race. He has also recently competed in the 200m race at the Boston Adidas Boost event in the United States where he clocked 19.84 seconds knocking his competitors.
Kovsie FC, the University of the Free State (UFS) football team has also gained promotion to the ABC Motsepe League after winning the provincial play-offs held in Sasolburg recently. Kovsie were promoted to the ABC Motsepe League for the first time since 2008. The team has been very impressive in the past years, finishing fourth in the 2013/14 season, second in the 2014/15 season, and winning the Mangaung Metro Regional League in 2015/16.
Congratulating these athletes, MEC Mathabo Leeto said, “The Department has made strides in ensuring that various sport codes and athletes receive support and training through the FSSSI and other facilities in the province. The work that we do through these facilities has yielded positive results as evidenced by the many accolades our athletes continuously bring home from national and international championships. We have also made it a priority that people with disabilities are included in all sport programmes and activities in the province. We take pride in all our athletes and we will continue to support them.”

By Tankane Pitso

Issued by:
Tankiso Zola
Director: Communication and IT