Pieter Coetzé SA swimmer
South African swimmers claimed more Gold medals in Europe. Photo: TeamSA

Pieter Coetzé ensured South Africa continued their gold rush at the Mare Nostrum swimming series on Saturday – claiming two victories on the opening night of the final leg in Canet, France.

The 18-year-old, who collected two silvers and a bronze at the previous leg in Barcelona last week, kicked things off with a gold in the 50m backstroke – outgunning American Michael Andrew to win in an impressive meet record time of 24.75 seconds. Andrew took the silver in 24.79.

Not long after, Coetzé was back in the pool for the 200m backstroke where he roared back in the second half of the race to secure the gold in a time of 1:58.27. Britain’s Olympic bronze medallist Luke Greenbank had to settle for silver in 1:58.88.

“The 200 was awesome,” said a thrilled Coetzé afterwards. “To be honest I didn’t really know if I was going to get the win at the last turn, but things worked out well and I was able to get a good, fast last 50 to get the win so that was good – especially in such a strong field,” he added.


“Coming into it I knew it was going to take a good one to win it so I’m very happy to get that win. Also the 50 was awesome to win – and to get the meet record was great and to race all these guys. It’s awesome to be here and it’s been a big learning experience.”

Matt Sates claims his 8th Gold Medal of the Week

Meanwhile, Matt Sates claimed his eighth gold medal of the week – this time in the 400m individual medley. The Maritzburg teenager continued his clean sweep of golds secured in every event he’s swum at the Mare Nostrum series so far by taking the title in 4:13.05 – well ahead of second-placed Hungarian David Verraszto who took the silver in 4:15.30.

After missing out on the medals in Barcelona in midweek, veteran Chad le Clos made sure to reach the podium in Canet. The 30-year-old claimed bronze in the 100m butterfly, finishing in a time of 52.14 seconds. Japan’s Naoki Mizunuma took the gold in 51.42, with Switzerland’s Noe Ponti finishing second in 51.83.

The Mare Nostrum series concludes today (Sunday, 29 May).

Source: TeamSA