2023 South African Nationals Day 2: Coetze Fires Off 24.36 50 Back Lifetime Best


18-year-old Pieter Coetze busted out the fastest time of his career en route to winning gold in the men’s 50m backstroke on day two of the South African National Championships.

The Cal commit fired off a super quick time of 24.36 to top the domestic podium by nearly two seconds tonight. That time easily overtook Coetze’s previous personal best outing of 24.58 notched in the semi-finals of the event at the 2022 World Junior Championships.

There in Lima, Peru, Coetze wound up placing 2nd in a time of 24.61 behind Polish champion Ksawery Masiuk.

Coetze’s new 24.36 fell just .02 shy of the longstanding South African national record Gerhard Zandberg put on the books at the 2009 World Championships.

However, Coetze now moves into the #1 spot in the season’s world rankings in this 50m back, in the process easily clearing the World Aquatics ‘A’ standard of 25.16 needed to qualify for the World Championships.

2022-2023 LCM Men 50 Back

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Tonight’s performance follows up Coetze’s 100m back stunner from day one. He crushed a new personal best of 52.78 to establish a new national and African continental record on his way to becoming the 2nd fastest performer in the world this season.

The women’s 200m IM saw Rebecca Meder get it done for gold in a time of 2:11.39. That gave the 20-year-old a healthy advantage over last night’s 200m free winner Aimee Canny. Canny settled for silver in this race in 2:13.35.

For Meder, the reigning African Games champion earned World Championships qualification, dipping under the QT of 2:12.98.

Meder’s result also established a new national record. Look for a subsequent post on her record-setting performance.

Former Georgia Bulldog Matt Sates collected his 2nd piece of hardware at these championships, topping the men’s 200m IM podium. The 19-year-old punched a time of 1:59.95 as the only swimmer to delve under the 2:00 barrier.

As with the 200m free from last night, however, Sates fell short of the World Aquatics ‘A’ cut in this event. He needed a minimum result of 1:59.53, so the teen was less than half a second away from the standard.

Also falling just shy of Fukuoka qualification was Olivia Nel in the women’s 50m back. Following up on her 100m back victory from day one, Nel notched a time of 28.39 to take the gold this evening.

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Gulliver’s Swimming Travels
1 year ago

So will they take Sates anyway in the 2IM and 2FR?

Curious if this selection process will be the same as GB’s.

1 year ago

Ouch for Sates

Reply to  Noah
1 year ago

My thoughts, too.

1 year ago

Nice to see so much talent across the board.

The biggest suprise tonight was probably Rebecca!

Reply to  Jeandp
1 year ago

Very good swim for her.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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