Pieter Coetze Rips 52.95 100 Back, Setting New WJ Championship & African Records



  • World Record – 51.60, Thomas Ceccon (2022)
  • World Junior Record – 52.53, Kliment Kolesnikov (2018)
  • World Jr Champ Record – 53.37, Thomas Ceccon (2019)

Top 8:

  1. Pieter Coetze (RSA) – 52.95
  2. Ksawery Masiuk (POL) – 53.12
  3. Aron Szekely (HUN) – 55.42
  4. Miroslav Knedla (CZE) – 55.49
  5. Hidekazu Takehara (JPN) – 55.79
  6. Filip Kosinski (POL) – 55.93
  7. Apostolos Siskos (GRE) – 55.95
  8. Simon Clusman (FRA) – 56.19

In the first semifinal of the boys’ 100m backstroke, South Africa’s Pieter Coetze blasted 52.95, not only qualifying first for the final but setting new championship and African records.

The swim is a massive best time for the 18-year-old Coetze, who told the crowd in his live post-race interview that he “wasn’t expecting to go that fast.” It was Coetze’s first time sub-53, as his previous best time stood at 53.62 from April 2021. Earlier this summer, Coetze won gold at the Commonwealth Games in this event, clocking 53.78 for the win.

He also took both the championship record and the African record under 53 seconds for the first time. The old championship record was set at 53.37 in 2019 by the current world record holder Thomas Ceccon. The African record was older, set in 2016 at 53.12 by Christopher Reid.

Split Comparison:

Coetze – 2022 World Juniors Coetze – 2021 South African Champs
50 25.80 25.96
100 52.95 (27.15) 53.62 (27.66)

Coetze was faster than his previous self on each lap, but especially on the second 50. After flipping in 25.80 compared to 25.96, he was able to come home .51 seconds faster than he did in 2021, splitting 27.15. That was the fastest second 50 in the field, well ahead of Ksawery Masiuk‘s 27.49.

Masiuk has been having a breakout season of his own, and Coetze will go head-to-head with him in the final on Day 2. It will be the first time they’ve raced this season, as Coetze withdrew from Worlds due to COVID-19 and raced at Commonwealth Games, while Masiuk raced at Worlds and European Juniors. At the latter meet, he swept the backstroke events. We’re set for an exciting race between these two, either of whom could take the win and lower the championship mark again.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

About Sophie Kaufman

Sophie Kaufman

Sophie grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, which means yes, she does root for the Bruins, but try not to hold that against her. At 9, she joined her local club team because her best friend convinced her it would be fun. Shoulder surgery ended her competitive swimming days long ago, …

Read More »