Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
17 Oct 2014
12:00 am

Coertzen back on track

Wesley Botton

South Africa's most versatile athlete, Willem Coertzen, is ready to hit his straps again after being sidelined for two months with a posterior impingement in his ankle.

FILE PICTURE: Willem Coertzen celebrating after he won the decathlon with an olympic qualifying time during the Yellow Pages SA Senior Championships on April 14, 2012 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images / Foto24 / Christiaan Kotze)

Coertzen crashed out of the decathlon event at this year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the African Championships in Marrakech due to the injury, but he confirmed he had fully recovered and would be back in action next season.

“I had an injection seven weeks ago and I’ve been doing rehab for the last six weeks,” he said.

“I’m feeling fine now, but I need to get back into shape. I’ll start training again on Monday.”

Coertzen regretted not being able to rest this year as he could not afford to be absent from competition and lose his financial support from the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc).

He was nonetheless removed from Sascoc’s Operation Excellence programme, which provides athletes with funding and support, due to his injury troubles.

“I’ve had various niggles over the last few seasons but I couldn’t take the year off, which I would have liked to do because there was no World Championships or Olympics,” he said.

“I lost that funding anyway, but there’s nothing I can do in hindsight. I’ll just have to try and come back stronger next season.”