'Writing your goals down reminds you and motivates you' - Miranda Coetzee
After a breakthrough 2022 season which saw her capture a maiden national title and the gold medal at the African Championships, rising star Miranda Coetzee says she is looking forward to cementing her place amongst the top 400m female athletes in the world this year. The 25-year-old from Phokeng in Rustenburg's achievements over the last 13 months are all the more impressive when viewed in the context of her fairly late start in the sport of athletics. Coetzee only joined her first serious club - the Royal Bafokeng Club in 2019 where she began training under the watchful eye of coach Eugene Thipe.
"I actually started running in Grade 10. I was more of a netball girl. I didn't like running," she told #TheTopRunner. "Then there was a time the teachers took us out for trials and I came first. People were so excited telling me that I had beaten the fastest girls in shool. So that's when I decided to do it and I started falling in love with it. I started training in 2019 but then we didn't have a a season in 2020, so my proper training started in 2021. That's when I had to change my mindset and fix everything."
Her mercurial rise to the top of the South African 400m sprinting pile in two short years is quite remarkable. Mentored by Thipe's wife Tsholofelo who herself is a four-time national champion who represented the country at both the 2008 and 2016 Olympics, Coetzee was bold enough to reveal the strategy that has been working so well for her. She says that she managed to get the best out of herself - by writing down her goals in black and white.
"My 2022 season went well. I wrote down everything that I wanted to achieve and everything unfolded the way I wanted it to. Writing your goals down reminds you and motivates you. For me it helps me to keep going. Every time I go back to my goals and I see, then I push myself and I have faith and I believe in it and then everything manifests the way that I have written it down," said the woman who set personal bests over both 200m (22.99) and 400m (51.50) in May 2022.
And to make sure that she achieves her main target, Coetzee has surrounded her with those who have been there and done that. Tsholofelo Thipe a four-time national champion who represented South Africa at both the 2008 and 2016 Olympics is a close friend and mentor.
That approach worked wonders as Coetzee also qualified for her very first World Championships in Eugene Oregon and was also part of the South African 4 x 400m relay team that won gold at the African Championships and finished in fourth place at the Commonwealth Games. Once again, she has written down her 2023 goals and she is brave enough to share them.
"The only thing that I didn't achieve was making the World Champs final but I'm hoping that I will achieve it this season. I think running fast times will determine where I go. I wanna win a gold medal at the All African Games. I wanna at least make the final at the World Championships and my biggest goal for this year is to run a time that will allow me to qualify for the Olympic Games - that's my biggest goal. So I'm looking forward to this season and I wrote everything down and I believe God will manifest it," she shared.