Pieter Coetze Captures 5th Gold Of 2024 South African Nationals


The final day of the 2024 South African National Championships unfolded from Gqeberha with 19-year-old Pieter Coetze capturing a fifth gold to conclude his campaign.

After capturing golds across the 50m/100m/200m back and 100m free, Coetze concluded by taking the meet title in the 50m free. The teen touched in 22.45 followed by Clayton Jimmie who hit 22.83 as the silver medalist.

Guy Brooks rounded out the podium in 23.00 while 43-year-old Roland Schoeman finished 4th in 23.07.

Post-race, Coetze stated, “I was really feeling tired before [the race]. I was sitting in the ready room yawning, but I’m just glad to get the win tonight.

On racing 2004 Olympic medalist Schoeman, Coetze said,  “I don’t think I’ll even get used to that… 10-year-old me would be absolutely shocked that I just beat Chad [le Clos] and Roland in one meet.

“It’s actually crazy but obviously I’m still young and early in my career and I’m just grateful for the opportunity to even race against these guys.”

Reflecting on his competition as a whole, Coetze stated, “I kind of expected a bit more of myself time-wise in some races, but five golds is always nice and I don’t want to be too hard on myself so I’ll take it. Now I’m just going to put it behind me and enjoy myself for the next few days and wind down.”

After winning the women’s 50m and 100m fly sprints, 25-year-old Erin Gallagher ended her meet with a gold in the 50m free.

Gallagher clocked 24.95 to get the edge over Caitlin de Lange who settled for silver in 24.96. Jessica Thompson, just 16, posted 25.41 as the bronze medalist.

Aimee Canny was also in the water this evening as a follow-up to her 1:56.80 African Record set in the women’s 200m freestyle as lead-off on her squad’s 4x200m free relay last night.

Canny earned gold in the 200m IM, registering a time of 2:12.23. That fell short of the World Aquatics Olympic Qualification Time of 2:11.47 needed for Paris.

Tatjana Smith (nee Schoenmaker) added a 4th medal by taking silver in the 2IM in 2:13.18 and Dakota Tucker captured bronze in 2:17.14.

Finally, 20-year-old Matt Sates topped the men’s 200m IM podium in a result of 1:59.98, adding to his 200m free and 200m fly victories at this meet.

However, Sates missed the Paris QTs in each event and has some work to do to make the grade by the June 23rd deadline.

South African Olympic Qualifiers Through Day 6 of Trials

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Ron Henderson
1 month ago

We all know there”s a junior world championship, but what about introducing a senior world championship as well for 40+ swimmers? I see Stefan Nystrand, Roland Schoeman and Nicholas Santos (he would come out of retirement) medalling in the 50 free.

Reply to  Ron Henderson
1 month ago

There is a World Masters championship already.

1 month ago

When was the last time SA had 4x as many female Olympic swimming qualifiers as male qualifiers? That seems notable.

1 month ago

Is he going to Cal next year?

Reply to  Jeah
1 month ago

don’t think so. I thought he turned pro?

Gulliver’s Swimming Travels
1 month ago

SA Swimming seems to think Le Clos and Sates qualified in the 100 Fly and Schoenmaker in the 100 Breast.

Reply to  Gulliver’s Swimming Travels
1 month ago

Sates & LeClos missed in 100fly but Smith went 1.05.41(h) & 1.05.48(f) in 100brs, most definitely qualified.

1 month ago

No Sates and no Chad!

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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