South African Athletics

Coertzen improves on own SA record

2015-06-02 12:49
Willem Coertzen (File)

Johannesburg - Olympic decathlete Willem Coertzen improved on his own South African record in his specialist event at the IAAF World Combined Events Challenge in Austria on Sunday.

Coertzen gathered 8 398 points to claim the bronze medal against a quality field in what was the third best effort so far this year on the IAAF rankings.

The result came as a great relief to Coertzen after a disappointing 2014 where he was forced to withdraw from the event at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games due to a flare up of an ankle injury during the high jump.

“I knew I was in relative good form but I did not quite expect to do this well and in a sense what should have happened at the Commonwealth Games happened now,” Coertzen said on his arrival in South Africa.

“Unfortunately because I was injured last year I couldn’t get it out (the record) and it seems like I just shifted it to this year.”

The 32-year-old improved on his previous record from the 2013 World Championships in Moscow by 55 points to set his third African record.

He finished behind the German duo of Kai Kazmirek in first place with a total of 8 462 points and Michael Schrader with 8 415 points.

Coertzen fought his way up from eighth place on the first day before moving to fourth place after winning the javelin with 68.48m.

His second place finish in the 1 500m with a time of 4:19.54 was enough for a podium finish.

“The last time I finished a decathlon there (in Austria) it was the first time that I participated there in 2009 and every year I went since there something went wrong,” Coertzen said.

He said he was contemplating going to one more event before the IAAF World Championships in Beijing in August but would rather make finer adjustments before the global showpiece.

“There are still a lot of things that I can do until August, I still have some speed work to do and sharpen up elsewhere,” he said.

Coertzen said the pole vault remained his Achilles heel which was the difference between him finishing in the Top 10 or realistically competing for a medal at major international events.

He needs to vault nearly half a metre higher than his 4.63m personal best to contest for a medal.

“The pole vault is where it will make a difference as all the guys that I compete against vault from five metres and upwards and that is where they are a step ahead of me,” Coertzen said.

“If I can get to their level in the pole vault then I can be scoring around 8 500 points.”

Coertzen, who had no outside assistance with the technical event, said he hoped to soon to get some expert help with the finer details which would give him the edge later this year.

“There might be something in the pipeline but I am not 100 percent sure, so I hope it will work out as it will mean a lot to me,” he said.

Read more on:    athletics

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Caster Semenya has been nominated for the 2018 Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year award. Which of the nominees deserves the award most?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.