Coertzen nails best high jump and takes second spot | SASCOC - SASCOC

Coertzen nails best high jump and takes second spot

London Olympian and South African decathlon champion/recordholder Willem Coertzen has wrapped up his season in style in Europe, writes Mark Etheridge.

Competing in the IAAF Combined Events Challenge in Talence, France, Coertzen amassed a total of 8118 points to end just 43 points behind Canadian Damian Warner.

Warner ended up second on the overall rankings with Belarussian Andrei Krauchanka, not competing in France, winning the first prize of $30,000.

Coertzen’s efforts saw him fifth overall and his financial gain was in the region of R90,000.

The South African had led after the first day’s five events in front of a crowed of 10,000 and with Olympic and world champion Ashton Eaton describing the atmosphere as the best he’s ever experienced at a decathlon competition.

Speaking after his great season which saw him break the SA record on two occasions, Coertzen said: “I’m very happy with the competition. It was a difficult one because its the last of the season and everybody is so tired after World Championships in Moscow so it was all down to just getting the best of what’s left in your body.

“The main reason for competing here was the money for everyone as it was the last event to get a final score for the IAAF Combined Events Challenge ÔÇô the top eight get decent money as well as good money for the final competition itself.”

As always Coertzen is something of a perfectionist when it comes to competition and he’s already analysed his shortcomings. “It didn’t go that well excepting for the high jump where I got a personal best of 2.08 metres, I’m really happy with that as I’ve been chasing that since the Olympics last year.

“I knew I had it in me and it eventually came. The rest of the events were more a question of just hanging in and doing the best I can. Mentally it’s very tough as it’s been a long year.

“I had a terrible pole vault ÔÇô what’s new? ÔÇô but that’s going to be sorted out within the next year.”

Now comes a welcome time of recuperation. “Yes, it’s now rest time and actually having a life for the next six to eight weeks and spend a lot of time with the family before the hard work starts for Glasgow and the Commonwealth Games next year.”

Coetzen’s individual efforts in compiling that score of 8118 were: 100m (11.17sec), long jump (7.51m), shot put (13.48m), high jump (2.08m), 400m (48.99sec), 110m hurdles (14.38sec), discus (43.02m), pole vault (4.27m), javelin (66.04m) 1400m (4min 29.85sec).

Wallie Welgens
Wallie Welgens

Coertzen was the surprise at the London 2012 Olympic Games.