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Coertzen captures continental record and a bronze in Austria
- Updated: June 3, 2015
Olympian and Commonwealth Games decathlete Willem Coertzen got his year off with a bang this weekend, writes Mark Etheridge.
Competing in one of decathlon’s top global events the Hypomeeting in Gotzis, Austria, improved his own national and continental record of two years by 55 points to an impressive 8398 points.
That secured him bronze, and is also third best in the world this year.
It will also boost his confidence after a 2014 that saw him having to withdraw from the 10-code event at the Commonwealth Games with an ankle injury. And it gets his year back on track after a freak gym injury which saw him dropping a weight bar onto his chest during a bench press exercise.
Winner in Gotzis was Germany’s Kai Kazmirek (8462 points) ahead of his countryman Michael Schrader (8415).
‘Yeah, I’m happy with this weekend and the hard work, determination and persistence are paying off,’ Coertzen told Road to Rio 2016. ‘There’s still more to come as this is my first full competition since last year’s SA’s so a very good sign that things are looking good going forward.
‘It’s just the same old thing holding me back, the pole vault. I really need a proper coach that can help me as currently I’m doing pole vault by myself and it’s such a technical event that you can’t do it by yourself… but there’s something coming up potentially that will help loads but I can’t confirm it yet.
As for the rest of the competition it was solid, nothing special but solid events and that’s what you’re looking for. The throws are getting better and I’m more confident.
‘Good news is that I still have lots of speed work to do so that’s a big plus point going forward.
‘I’m doing a lot of 1500m training this year with Jean Verster and it’s helping a lot. I felt very strong in the 1500, I just need to build confidence. It was my first 1500m so didn’t know what to expect and it felt good.’
Coertzen’s times and distances from Gotzis were: (100m – 10.99sec, long jump – 7.46m, shot put – 14.14m, high jump – 2.03m, 400m – 48.73, 110m hurdle – 14.17sec, discus – 44.84m, pole vault 4.60m, javelin 68.43m, 1500m – 4min 22.22sec).