Pieter Coetze Downs Boys’ 50 Backstroke World Juniors CR in 24.58



  • World Record — 23.71, Hunter Armstrong (2022)
  • World Junior Record — 24.00, Kliment Kolesnikov (2018)
  • World Jr Champ Record — 24.63, Michael Andrew (2017)

Top 8 Qualifiers:

  1. Pieter Coetze (RSA) – 24.58 CR
  2. Ksawery Masiuk (POL) – 24.91
  3. Miroslav Knedla (CZE) – 25.12
  4. Aron Szekely (HUN) – 25.53
  5. Yohan Airaud (FRA) – 25.96
  6. Michal Pruszynski (POL) – 26.00
  7. Simon Clusman (FRA) – 26.03
  8. Ulises Saravia (ARG) – 26.14

In the second semifinal of the boys’ 50 backstroke, South Africa’s Pieter Coetze took down the World Juniors championship record, blasting 24.58. That lowers the old mark, which Michael Andrew set in 2017, by .05 seconds.

If this sounds a little familiar, that’s because it’s the second time this meet that Coetze has broken a championship record in the semifinals. On Day 1, the 18-year-old broke the championship record in the 100 backstroke, ripping 52.95 to get under 53 seconds for the first time and also set a new African record. That championship record only stood for a day though, as Ksawery Masiuk lowered it to 52.91 in the final.

Coetze’s swim is also a new personal best. His previous best was 24.74, which he set earlier this year at the South African National Championships in April.

Coetze and Masiuk have separated themselves from the rest of the field in both backstroke events. In the 100 backstroke, they were over two seconds ahead of bronze medalist Miroslav Knedla, who clocked 55.09 to earn his medal. In these 50 backstroke semifinals, they are the only two under 25 seconds. Both have asserted themselves as swimmers to watch: Masiuk set Polish records in the 50 and 100 backstroke at Worlds, medaling in the former. Then, he went on to sweep the backstrokes at European Juniors. Coetze won the 100 backstroke at Commonwealth Games.

Coetze held the top qualifying time heading into the final of the 100 backstroke in Lima as well. In the final on day 4, he’ll look to flip the script from earlier in the meet and end up on the top step of the podium.