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#TuksSwimming: Coetzee bags four golds at the Under-20 Games in Botswana
11 December 2018

Duné Coetzee can justly feel it is mission accomplished after winning four gold medals during the Ausc Region 5 Under-20 Games in Gaborone, Botswana.

As expected the UP-Tuks swimmer won the 200m-butterfly in 2:18.10. Judging by her performances since April it would seem as if the 200m-butterfly is indeed becoming her signature event. The one race she can bank on to medal in. 

So far this season she has defended her South African senior title in the 200m-butterfly as well as winning silver at the Youth Olympic Games. Another highlight was setting a personal best during the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. In between, she notched up various other significant victories. 

The last time Coetzee got beaten in the event was during the 2016 national championships. She was only 13 years old at the time.

The UP-Tuks swimmer also won the 100m-butterfly equalling the meeting record set by Rita Naudé. Her winning time was 1:01.75. Coetzee has mixed feelings about her performance.

“To equal, a record set by Rita is from a personal perspective special since she was one of my first idols when I started getting competitive as a swimmer. As far as I am concerned Rita executes the butterfly technique to absolute perfection. Once I found out she is being coached by Linda de Jager I just needed to be coached by her also. It is a decision I never regretted.

“The frustrating thing at the moment for me is that I cannot get close to the personal best time of 1:01.04 I set in April last year. But then again perhaps I should take the advice of the former Olympic swimmer, Karin Prinsloo, to heart. She used to remind me all the time that patience is a virtue encouraging me never to get despondent. 

“Karin believed that if you are putting in the hard work, the question is not if whether you are eventually going to swim fast times but when you are going to do so. The moment the breakthrough happens there is usually no stopping anyone.

“Realistically it would have been unfair to expect to swim personal best times as I have not tapered down at all. The only goal was to win. I was also more focused on improving my technique and experimenting with different race strategies,” explained the UP-Tuks swimmer.

Coetzee also won gold in the 200m (2:03.80) and 400m (4:21.83) freestyle-events. She also competed in a few events which she does not usually do. Like the 100m-backstroke in which she set a massive personal best time. Swimming 1:07.96.

Watch this space. In a year or two from now, there might be two competitive Coetzee sisters aspiring to represent South Africa at major galas. Coetzee’s younger sister, Lise, has been raking in the medals during the current Northern Tiger Championships. Last night the 13-year old won her 10th gold medal, and she has not finished competing.

 

- Author Wilhelm de Swardt
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Last edited by Leonore JordaanEdit
Photo credit: Reg Caldecott