Louzanne and Marné included in national student cross country team
2018-02-07

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Athlete Louzanne Coetzee, and her guide, Xavier Adams.
Credit: Facebook

Two Kovsie athletes, including the blind athlete and world record holder, Louzanne Coetzee, have been included in the national student cross country team.

Coetzee and Marné Mentz will compete at the World Student Cross Country championship on 7 April in St Gallen in Switzerland.

They qualified for the team after good performances at the Athletics South Africa’s cross country trials held at the University of the Free State (UFS) on 20 January. The distance was over 10km.

What makes Coetzee’s inclusion even more remarkable is the fact that she will be competing against able-bodied runners. The world record holder in the 5 000m in her disability category (T-11) and her new guide, Xavier Adams, finished first among the female students in a time of 39:32, which is her personal best. Mentz ended in second place for students in 39:44. They will make up two of the six spots in the women’s team in Switzerland.

First for Coetzee

It is the first time that Coetzee was chosen for an able-bodied national team. She is doing a master’s degree in Reconciliation and Social Cohesion this year and Mentz is in her final year of a BEd Intermediate Phase.

Tshepang Sello, another Kovsie and an Olympic athlete from Lesotho, took first position for students in 38:04 but did not qualify for the South African team because of her Lesotho citizenship.

Kesa Molotsane (35:29) was the overall winner. Although Molotsane is still doing her honours this year, she ran in the open division as she no longer qualifies as a student because she is over the age of 25, according to University Sport South Africa regulations.

Molotsane ,26, is the national cross country champion of 2016 and obtained second spot last year.