Pieter Coetze Clocks 1:56.66 To Complete Trifecta Of Backstroke Wins In South Africa


Pieter Coetze capped off a successful South African National Championships by completing a trifecta of wins in the men’s backstroke discipline.

The final night saw the 18-year-old Cal commit punch a time of 1:56.66 to take the 200m back by over 8 seconds en route to qualifying for this summer’s World Championships.

Splitting 57.27/59.39, Coetze posted the 2nd fastest time of his young career, sitting only behind his lifetime best of 1:56.05 en route to taking gold at the 2022 World Junior Championships.

The teen now ranks 5th in the world on the season in this 2back race.

2022-2023 LCM Men 200 Back

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Coetze said of his performance, “I was feeling a little bit tired so I thought it might not go well tonight. So I’m actually a little bit shocked with that but very happy.

“I would like to be out in 56 and still bring it back in the same time because the top guys in the world are going out fast. I’ve always been a bit of a backend swimmer so that’s something I have to work on. But this was a bit of a better split than what I usually do which is negative splitting so I can definitely see the improvement.

“I’m just very, very happy. I’ve qualified for Paris now in the 100 and 200 so I’m just over the moon.”

Narrowly dipping under the World Aquatics ‘A’ standard of 26.32 needed in the women’s 50m fly was Erin Gallagher.

24-year-old Gallagher notched a result of 26.31 to get the job done, ranking 21st in the world in the process.

Post-race, Gallagher stated, “I think we always hope to go faster but it always comes down to the race and there was really good competition in that race so I was happy to come away with the win to be honest. There are some fast little 15-year-olds there so the tables have turned now, but I’m happy with the win and I know what I need to work on so I’m very happy overall,”

Also skimming under a World Championships standard was Dune Coetzee in the women’s 400m free. The Georgia swimmer followed up her 800m free personal best from last night with a victory in the 400m free this evening.

Coetzee stopped the clock in 4:10.49 to get under the 4:10.57 needed for Fukuoka.

“I tried to go fast from the beginning but my first 200 I wasn’t as in control as I wanted to be. I wanted to feel the water, which is something I can fix, but I came back really strong which I’m very happy about,” Coetzee said of her result.

Additional Winners

  • Hannah Pearse won the women’s 200m back event in a time of 2:12.86, getting to the wall over 5 seconds ahead of the next-closest competitor.
  • The men’s 400m free saw Matt Sates produce a time of 3:55.48 for gold.
  • 42-year-old Roland Schoeman followed up his 50m free silver from yesterday with 50m fly gold tonight. The Olympic veteran hit 23.83 to top the podium.

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1 year ago

3’55 from Sates in the 400m freestyle. What the hell is going on

1 year ago

Dear Peter,

if you are reading this, please decommit from Cal. Anywhere is fine but I would recommend the powerhouse of Southern Methodist University

1 year ago

Will Schoeman be selected for the team with that 50? Also, didn’t he officially get US citizenship recently?

Reply to  25Back
1 year ago

It’s possible that they will select Roland on a B cut. He has dual citizenship so it seems as though he would be eligible to represent SA 🇿🇦

Lap Counter
1 year ago

Great meet for Peter! What happened to Matt Sates?

Reply to  Lap Counter
1 year ago

He had a solid meet. He had a pretty big lineup but overall he did good in everything.

Gulliver’s Swimming Travels
Reply to  Guy
1 year ago

Inquiring minds want to know: will the SA swimming federation still take him in all those events?

Reply to  Lap Counter
1 year ago

Coaching change doesn’t seem to be fitting him well

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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