2 Days to go - Willem Coertzen

Date of birth : 30.12.1982


Performance Venue Year
Personal Best 8343 Moskva (RUS) 11.08.2013
Seasons Best 8199 Pretoria (RSA) 09.05.2014
All Time RSA ranking 1st
World Ranking 2014 7th


He is the South African and African record holder in the decathlon. He was the silver medallist in the event at the African Championships in Athletics in 2008. 

He began taking part in decathlon competitions in 2007 for Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers in the United Kingdom, where he won the South of England Decathlon Championship in Bedford with a total of 7245 points. The following year he returned to his native South Africa to win his first national decathlon title, then recorded a personal best of 7721 points in Réduit. A month later at the 2008 African Championships in Athletics in Addis Ababa, he took the silver medal in the decathlon behind Algeria’s Larbi Bouraada and also managed a bronze medal in the pole vault event with a modest clearance of 4.00 m. He underwent a groin operation in November that year, leading him to miss the following year’s national championships.

Willem Coertzen (right) and Romain Barras in finish of 1500m run at the2011 TNT – Fortuna Meeting in Kladno. The following May he completed two decathlons: he set a new South African record in the event with a score of 7907 points for third place at the Multistars meeting in Desenzano del Garda. Although he was eleventh at the 2009 Hypo-Meeting in Götzis later that month, he improved his record further with a total of 8054 points, clearing the 8000-point mark for the first time in his career. He was selected to represent his country at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics and he significantly improved upon his past marks. Reflecting upon his performance of 8146 points in the men’s decathlon in Berlin, he said: “Six personal bests out of 10 events, 14th in the world, and a new national record – who could be unhappy with that?”.

He competed sparingly in 2010, but returned to international competition the following year. He edged out Olympic medallist Dmitriy Karpov at the TNT – Fortuna Meeting in June 2011, taking third place with a score of 8094 points (which included personal bests in the discus throw, shot put and 1500 metres). He improved his national record to 8244 points at the 2012 South African Championships, setting bests in the pole vault, 1500 m and javelin throw. He came a close second to Damian Warner at the 2013 Decastar meeting, finishing with 8118 points (including a 2.08 m personal best in the high jump).

Coertzen has the following pb’s over the various items:

100 – 10.89
400 – 48.32
1500 – 4:23.75
110m H – 14.15
High Jump – 2:08
Pole Vault – 4.63
Long Jump – 7.58
Shot put – 14.11
Discus – 44.55
Javelin – 69.40

3 of those pb’s he did this year and that is in the discus, javelin and shot put so it is clear that he went and worked on his strength and we expect big things from him and that he would teach Pretorius all he can in this experience together.