Matt Sates and Pieter Coetze Missing from Updated South African Roster for Worlds

**Retta Race also contributed to this report**

After initially announcing a 19 swimmer roster for 2023 Worlds set to take place in Fukuoka next month, South Africa has now updated its roster to 12 total swimmers. Notably absent from the new roster are Matt Sates and Pieter Coetze.

See all of the World Championships rosters released so far here with our tracker.

Sates confirmed to SwimSwam that he will not be competing at Worlds.

“It didn’t place in my new training program leading up to Paris,” he said.

Coetze also confirmed to SwimSwam that he will not be in attendance next month as well.

“My coach and I decided it would be best for my preparation for 2024 to skip this World Champs and train through with the next World Champs being so early next year too,” Coetze said.

Sates competed at Worlds last summer and finished as high as eighth as he touched in a 1:58.27 in finals of the men’s 200 IM. At the 2022 Short Course Worlds last December, Sates captured the World title in the 200 IM. He also was third in the 400 IM. Sates won the 2022 NCAA title in the 500 free but decided to forego his eligibility to turn pro.

Coetze did not compete at Worlds last summer but won the boy’s 200 back at Junior Worlds in a 1:56.05. That would have been fourth at Worlds. Coetze finished fourth in the 100 back and fifth in the 50 back at SCM Worlds in December. Coetze is committed to Cal for this upcoming season.

The overall roster has shrunk greatly. Originally, 10 women and nine men were expected to compete. Now, seven women and five men are on the roster.

Absent from the women’s roster now are Dune Coetzee, Kaylene Corbett, Erin Gallagher, Olivia Nel, and Hannah Pearse. Instead, Trinity Hearne and Milla Drakopoulos have been added to the roster. In addition to the absences of Sates and Coetze on the men’s side, Kobe Ndebele and Matthew Randle are also not on the list anymore. No additions have occurred for the South African men.

Although the roster has shrunk, the country will still send more swimmers this summer than it did last summer. Last summer, only eight swimmers competed. The trip to the 2022 World Championships in Budapest was partially self-funded by the eight swimmers.

Lara van Niekerk was the country’s only medal winner at the 2022 Worlds as she won bronze in the women’s 50 breast. Van Niekerk was on the original 19-swimmer roster and continues to be on this 12-swimmer roster.

This is not the first time that a roster switch has happened for the South African team. Last summer, breaststrokers Tatjana Schoenmaker and Kaylene Corbett were originally set to compete at Worlds but instead turned their focus to the Commonwealth Games.

The next calendar year is very busy for international competition. 2023 Worlds will take place this July in Fukuoka, Japan. In February 2024, Worlds will take place again in Doha, Qatar. Then next July and into August will be the 2024 Paris Olympics.

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8 months ago

Where is Chris Reid?
Is he still contending for these meets?

8 months ago

Going to hurt the relays. Especially Coetze and Gallager

Steve Nolan
8 months ago

SA athletes have to pay their way to these meets, no? Feel like that could be a consideration.

Lap Counter
Reply to  Steve Nolan
8 months ago

Good sponsors can help pay those costs or if they are in university, they are allowed to pay also!

Reply to  Steve Nolan
8 months ago

Swimmers are selected to these teams with that wonderful clause that says “this tour is a self funded tour” it becomes so expensive – Worlds is R42,000; last year Junior Worlds cost our swimmers families R70,000;

8 months ago

RSA always has talented swimmers but seems as if their organisation is imploding.

8 months ago

The time is now for Roland Schoeman to play the dark horse

David Clossey
8 months ago

A crushing blow to Ben Dornan’s fantasy draft board

8 months ago

Oh he done

8 months ago

Turning pro really paying dividends for him huh

Gulliver’s Swimming Travels
Reply to  DCSwim
8 months ago

The rumors seemed to be that he didn’t have the stuff to make it through college classes, so better to not risk it I guess?

Reply to  Gulliver’s Swimming Travels
8 months ago

Bruh couldn’t pass art history and communication?

Reply to  Swim2win
8 months ago

your point being?

Reply to  maverick1993
8 months ago

It’s not that hard. Figure it out.

Lap Counter
Reply to  Gulliver’s Swimming Travels
8 months ago

He didn’t even go to classes to know if he could pass! And starting two weeks late probably doesn’t help

About Anya Pelshaw

Anya Pelshaw

Anya has been with SwimSwam since June 2021 as both a writer and social media coordinator. She was in attendance at the 2022 and 2023 Women's NCAA Championships writing and doing social media for SwimSwam. Currently, Anya is pursuing her B.A. in Economics and a minor in Government & Law at …

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