JOHANNESBURG – University of Pretoria-Tuks hammer thrower Margo-Chené Coetzee has shown she could become a star in the future.
She won the women’s hammer throw at Thursday's national championships with a distance of 58.97m that ranks her fourth on South Africa’s all-time list.
Her best is undoubtedly yet to come. For the past three years, she has been battling a severe back injury which made it near impossible for her to throw. But she was never going to give up on her dreams.
It was Renaldo Frechou (Tuks hammer throw coach and athlete) who has helped her change her technique to such an extent that she is not in constant pain every time she throws.
Coetzee has made peace with the fact that pain is forever going to be part of her life as long as she competes but at least now it bearable. She is confident of being able to throw further.
“There are still a few small little things in my technique that I got to work on if I get that sorted there is no reason why I can’t get past 60 metres,"she said.
"Something I got to work on is to keep my emotions intact after throwing a big one. I should not allow myself to get sidetracked afterwards.”
Meanwhile another Tuks athlete, South African 100 metres champion, Akani Simbine (Tuks), withdrew from Thursday's semifinals due to a hamstring problem.
Apart from defending his title in the short sprint, he was meant to race the 200m and compete in the 4x100m relay.
Werner Prinsloo, who coaches Simbine, emphasised that the Tuks sprinter's injury is not severe.
“As it still early in the season we just felt it would be unwise to take any unnecessary risks which could lead to him not achieving the goals he had set himself.”
Prinsloo is confident that Simbine will be able to race during next weekend’s last Grand Prix-meeting.
Wenda Nel (Tuks) is definitely in good form. She won her heat in the 400m hurdles in a time of 54.96 which is 0.35 faster than the time she ran during last week’s Grand Prix meeting. She said afterwards she felt she could have run an even faster time.
“After I had finished I was not tired. There was something left in my legs, and that is exciting. I purposely pushed myself hard in the heats because I realise that at the Commonwealth Games there is not going to be such a thing as an easy race.
"I got to get used to pushing myself to the limit if I got to have any hope to qualify for the final.”
Friday's 400m hurdles men’s final is going to be a humdinger. All the leading contenders Le Roux Hamman (defending champion), Cornel Fredericks, LJ van Zyl, Constant Pretorius and Lindsay Hanekom and Zokwakhana Zazini (world youth champion) have done enough to qualify for the final.
Hanekom (Tuks) was the fastest in the heats running 49.39 which is the second-fastest of his career.
African News Agency (ANA)