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#TuksSwimming: 15-year-old Coetzee qualifies for the Commonwealth Games
18 December 2017
Qualifying in the 200m-freestyle for next year's Commonwealth Games, the 15-year-old Duné Coetzee proved that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
 
Last night at the KZN Aquatics Premier Championships at the Kings Park Aquatics Centre in Durban the Tuks swimmer won the 200m-freestyle in a personal best time of 2:02.68. Marlies Ross was second in 2:03.04 and Kristin Bellingan third in 2:03.68.
 
An elated Coetzee ascribed her success to putting in the long hard hours.
 
"From August my coach, Linda de Jager, and I worked on improving my times in the 200-metre events. I am so so excited about the time I have swum as it proves that if you are prepared to put in the hard work, you will reap success."
 
Coetzee has also set her sights on trying to qualify for the 200m-butterfly as well as the 400m-freestyle. 
 
She is the current South African senior 200m-butterfly champion who boasts with a personal best time of 2:14.14.
 
Even though Coetzee has qualified, it is not a foregone conclusion that she will be selected for the Commonwealth Games. At 15 she might be too young.
 
The Tuks swimmer hopes she will get the chance to compete as she sees it as an opportunity to gain valuable experience. 
 
"The time difference between Australia's Gold Coast and Tokyo where the 2020 Olympic Games is going to be is only an hour which means it will give me the opportunity to get used to competing in that timezone and against senior more experienced swimmers."
 
Coetzee started swimming when she was a baby so that I could become water safe. When she was seven years old, she began to compete in galas. 
 
She views Missy Franklin who won five medals at the 2012 Olympics and Katie Ledecky who won five medals at the World Champs in 2015 as role models. 
 
"From Ledecky I’ve learned that there is no limit to what you can achieve. I watched Missy’s movie – Touch the Wall. There is a heap of stuff I learned from it.
 
"Locally my hero is Karin Prinsloo. I had the privilege to meet Karin after she returned from London Olympics in 2012,” said the Tuks swimmer.
 
- Author Wilhelm de Swardt
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Last edited by Leonore JordaanEdit
Dune Coetzee Photo Credit: Reg Caldecott