Louzanne Coetzee performed her career best to win a 1500m Paralympic silver medal, shaving nine seconds off her qualifying time to finish after Mexican Monica Olivia Rodriguez Saavedra, and ahead of Kenya‘s Nancy Chelangat Koech on Monday, 30 August 2021.
The 28-year-old was competing in her sixth major championship event since 2013, and was understandably emotional after winning silver in a career best time of 4min 40.96sec in the women’s T11 final.
“I can’t believe it,” said Coetzee. “I have been competing for eight years and this is my first medal. I’m just overwhelmed. I couldn’t have asked for a better race, a better guide, better preparation, I’m just very thankful for how everything went down.”
A field of six athletes and their guides faced the starter at the 1500m mark and Coetzee and her guide, Estean Badenhorst immediately went to the front. “That was the plan,” revealed Badenhorst.
“The tactic was to be a front runner. We had trained on time trials against the clock, not on actual races as we haven’t had much opportunity to race a lot.”
Coetzee is set to take part in the T12 marathon on Sunday, 5 September 2021.
Photo 1 Caption: Louzanne Coetzee performed her career best to win a 1500m Paralympic silver medal on Monday, 30 August 2021. Photo: Team South Africa (Twitter)