Every South African a Swimmer

Coetzé finishes fifth as Sates books spot in 200m butterfly final

Coetzé finishes fifth as Sates books spot in 200m butterfly final
13 February 2024 - Having come into the 100m backstroke final as the second fastest qualifier in the field, there was disappointment for Pieter Coetzé as he finished out of medal contention in fifth place at the World Aquatics Championships in Doha on Tuesday.

Coetzé, who is the current Commonwealth Games champion in the event, turned in fifth place at the 50m mark and hit the lane ropes on several occasions, slowing him down on what is usually a powerful final 50m.

The 19-year-old was competing in his first ever final at this level and said afterwards: “There is not much to say – I didn’t feel the nerves more than any other race.

“Hitting the ropes was unusual for me and I was very disappointed with the outcome of this race.”

Coetzé finished in 53.51 seconds for his fifth place, with American Hunter Armstrong taking the gold in 52.68, Spain’s Hugo Gonzalez the silver in 52.70 and Greece’s Apostolos Christou bronze in 53.36.

Both Coetzé’s heat and semifinal times from Monday would have seen him clinching the bronze medal.

Later in the evening Coetzé’s teammate Matt Sates finished fourth in his 200m butterfly semifinal to book a spot in tomorrow night’s final.

It could be a busy day for Sates who is also down to compete in the 200m individual medley heats tomorrow morning with a potential semifinal in the evening session.

The 20-year-old was languishing in seventh place at the halfway mark in his semifinal but worked his way up to sixth by the final turn and then produced an impressive final 50m to work his way up to fourth place, finishing in 1 minute 55.88 seconds.

“I felt like I got the job done in the semifinal to make it to the final and you know what they say – if you’ve got a lane, you’ve got a chance,” said Sates afterwards.

“I’ll be in Lane 1 and it feels good to just be out there swimming with the South African flag… You can best believe I will give it my all in that last 50.”

Meanwhile, veteran Chad le Clos decided to give the 200m butterfly, the event in which he won Olympic gold in 2012, a miss at these championships and did not compete in the heats on Tuesday. He is scheduled to line up for the 100m freestyle heats tomorrow morning and the 100m butterfly heats on Friday.

The only other South African in action on Tuesday was Duné Coetzee whose time of 2:01.02 saw her finishing 28th overall in the women’s 200m freestyle.



Photo credits: SA Sports Images

For further information please contact:

Mafata Modutoane

mafata.modutoane@swimsa.org or 073 226 5688.

Swimming South Africa is the governing body of aquatics in South Africa.

Its objective is to encourage the practice of aquatic disciplines for all in South Africa with the purpose of promoting swimming as a life skill through Learn to Swim programmes; providing healthy exercise to South Africans of all ages and races; recruiting recreational swimmers to compete in the various competitions; and promoting competition and athlete development to the highest level. Swimming South Africa is kindly supported by SASCOC, National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, Arena, Sport & Recreation SA and Rand Water.