20435-Liezel Gouws photo

Liezel Gouws



Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Cerebral Palsy
Origin of Impairment
T37, F37

Further personal information

Klerksdorp, RSA
Athlete, Student
Afrikaans, English
Higher education
Pharmacy - North West University: Potchefstroom, RSA

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She took up Para athletics at age 13 in Klerksdorp, South Africa.
Why this sport?
She saw the sport as a challenge. "I always liked being active. I used to watch other children run and I just couldn't let my disability stand in the way."

International debut

Competing for
South Africa
World Championships
Lyon, FRA

General interest

Hiking, camping, board games. (Athlete, 11 Nov 2019)
Memorable sporting achievement
Breaking the world record for the T37 800m in 2015. (Athlete, 11 Nov 2019)
Most influential person in career
Her family and friends. (Athlete, 11 Nov 2019)
Hero / Idol
US sprinter Allyson Felix. (Athlete, 16 Jul 2017)
In 2019 she required surgery on her shoulder and was out of action for two months. (Athlete, 11 Nov 2019)

In 2015 she underwent surgery on a stress fracture to her foot. She missed the 2015 World Championships in Doha, Qatar, but recovered in time to compete at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. She also sustained stress fractures to her feet in 2014 and 2018. (Athlete, 11 Nov 2019, 02 Sep 2016;, 09 Sep 2016)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams and live the life you've imagined. Never give up." (Facebook profile, 06 Apr 2020)
Awards and honours
She received an Award of Excellence at the 2019 North West University Sports Awards in Potchefstroom, South Africa. (, 17 Oct 2019)

She was named the 2016 Para Sportswoman of the Year, as well as Sportswoman of the Year in 2013 and 2016, in Matlosana, South Africa. (, 04 Nov 2016; Twitter profile, 26 Oct 2013)
She has hemiplegia on her left side as the result of a stroke she had at age five. (Athlete, 11 Nov 2019)


Unit Date Rank
IPC Athletics World Championships (Lyon, France)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 200 m T37 Semifinal 1 2013-07-21 11
Women's 100 m T37 Semifinal 1 2013-07-23 13
Women's 400 m T37 Final 1 2013-07-27 4
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 100 m T37 Heat 2 2016-09-08 4
Women's 100 m T37 Final Round 2016-09-09 8
Women's 400 m T37 Heat 2 2016-09-12 3
Women's 400 m T37 Final Round 2016-09-13 7
World Para Athletics Championships London 2017 (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 200 m T37 Final 1 2017-07-15 5
Women's 400 m T37 Final 1 2017-07-20 5
Women's 100 m T37 Heat 2 2017-07-22 10