Faster Than Murphy, South Africa’s 16-Yr-Old Coetze Clocks 53.62 100 Back

2021 SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Just days ago, Japan’s youngest Olympic swimming team member since 2012 made the squad in 17-year-old Konosuke Yanagimoto in the men’s 800m free relay. Last night, South Africa topped that with an even younger constituent in the form of 16-year-old Pieter Coetzé.

Competing in the men’s medley relay, which was the final event on the final night of competition at the 2021 South African National Championships, Coetzé fired off the best time of his life leading off in the backstroke. Getting to the wall in a time of 53.62, Coetzé scorched his previous career-quickest en route to qualifying for his first Olympic Games.

Entering these championships, the Tuks swimmer’s personal best in the 100m back rested at 55.19, a mark which he already brought down nearly a second to 54.25 to take the individual title here at Newton Park. That time rendered the teen less than half a second away from the FINA ‘A’ cut of 53.85 needed to qualify for the postponed Olympic Games.

Making the most of his final opportunity, the Rocco Meiring-trained budding star crushed a massive 53.62 to lead off his squad’s relay. Opening in 25.96 and bringing it home in 27.66, Coetzé comfortably cleared the aforementioned A cut to add his name to the South African roster for Tokyo.

In doing so, Coetzé rocketed himself up the list of all-time South African 100m backstroke performers, now situated only behind national record holder Chris Reid and his national tandard of 53.12.

For additional perspective, Coetzé’s time would rank as a new National Age Record in the United States for men aged 15-16. His outing is faster than the NAG held by Olympic champion Ryan Murphy at 53.76 from the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.

Coetzé says his Olympic qualifying ‘means the world.’

He told SwimSwam today, “The last year has been tough and I’m proud to say I’ve pushed through and trained harder than I ever have. Qualifying is just the result of the work I’ve been putting in over the years and I’m so grateful that it paid off.”

He now ranks 10th in the world at just 16 years of age.

2020-2021 LCM Men 100 Back

EvgenyRUS
Rylov
07/27
51.98
2Kliment
Kolesnikov
RUS52.0007/27
3Ryan
Murphy
USA52.1907/27
4Thomas
Ceccon
ITA52.3007/27
5Xu
Jiayu
CHN52.3503/07
6Hunter
Armstrong
USA52.4806/14
7Mitch
Larkin
AUS52.7512/13
8Shaine
Casas
USA52.7606/14
9Yohann Ndoye
Brouard
FRA52.7707/30
9Apostolos
Christou
GRE52.7705/19
View Top 43»

15
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of
15 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Cacrushers
5 months ago

Should the russian boys be in those rankings?

Rafael
5 months ago

I think we can be pretty sure that Jefimova will be the youngest swimmer in Tokyo right?

On men side, the DOB must be seen but there are a line of 16 years old who can qualify (Can´t remember if there is a 15 year old)

But, overall that was a pretty impressive swim

Hswimmer
Reply to  Rafael
5 months ago

How old is Pillato?

Rafael
Reply to  Hswimmer
5 months ago

Pilate is 16 year old already.. Jefimova will still be 14 at OG…

Hswimmer
Reply to  Rafael
5 months ago

14 dang didn’t know she was that young

Rafael
Reply to  Hswimmer
5 months ago

DOB dec 2006

Khachaturian
5 months ago

New font on the swimswam lists?

Swimfan
5 months ago

Another person who’s benefiting from the postponed Olympics

Swimfan
5 months ago

There should be a ranking for 2021 for all the teens/younger stars who are benefiting from the one year postponed Olympics like curzan huske jacoby just to name a few

Rafael
Reply to  Swimfan
5 months ago

I am waiting to see what Steverink will deliver next week at trials.. at 15 years (2019) old he was 15:26 1500 free and 4:21 400 IM.. no much data from 2020

Koen
Reply to  Rafael
5 months ago

Rafael – do you know if Steverink will be swimming for Brazil or the Netherlands? Given his absence from the Dutch trials I assume he’ll compete for Brazil in international senior level competitions?

Last edited 5 months ago by Koen
Rafael
Reply to  Koen
5 months ago

Yes

He is already listed to swim next week at brazil trials on the events below:
1500 free
800 free
400IM
200 breast

Last edited 5 months ago by Rafael
AnEn
Reply to  Rafael
5 months ago

Who?

Rafael
Reply to  AnEn
5 months ago

Stephan steverink
At 15 years old end of 2019 he swam a 4:21 400IM and a 15:26 1500 LCM

Last edited 5 months ago by Rafael
Meow
Reply to  Swimfan
5 months ago

I think it’s more interesting to look at the old folks who are losing out because of the delay. Either way, it is what it is and none of the athletes had anything to do with the delay.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

Read More »