World Junior Championships: Pieter Coetze Adds Meet Record, 200 Back Crown

Pieter Coetze
Pieter Coetze. Photo Courtesy: Swimming South Africa

World Junior Championships: Pieter Coetze Adds Meet Record, 200 Back Crown

It was going to take something special to deny Ksawery Masiuk a sweep of the backstroke events at the FINA World Junior Championships.

Pieter Coetze supplied that Saturday night, the sixth and final night of finals in Lima, Peru.

Coetze set a meet record in the 200 backstroke, blitzing the field by more than two seconds with Masiuk in bronze to get a gold. His time of 1:56.05 took down the meet record set in 2017 by Hugo Gonzalez and buzzed within a second of the world junior record.

The final night of the session started with David Popovici triumphing in the men’s 100 freestyle. The other races, event-by-event”

Women’s 200 breaststroke

Emma Carrasco Cadens of Spain capped a quietly stellar meet by getting the win in 2:26.93. She led start to finish, 2.69 seconds clear of the nearest chaser.

It’s the first gold for her at the World Junior Championships, having finished third in the 200 IM and fifth in the 400 IM.

Silver went to Yumeno Kusuda of Japan in 2:29.62. The bronze medal was wrested away by Turkey’s Defne Coskun, who used a 37.57 final 50 split (quicker even than Carrasco) to charge from fifth to third.

Kusuda was one of only three holdovers from the 100 breast final. Sieun Park of South Korean finished fourth in both.

Men’s 200 backstroke

Pieter Coetze unleashed fury on his third 50, hitting the midpoint in third place, two tenths behind Hidekazu Takehara of Japan. The South African gouged seven tenths out of Takehara and more than a second out of Ksawery Masiuk on the third 50 with a 29.73, then closed in 28.33, another 1.46 seconds quicker than Masiuk.

The result was 1:56.05, hacking .64 seconds off Hugo Gonzalez’s record. He is within a second of the world junior record set that year by Kliment Kolesnikov (1:55.14). Coetzee is also just off the South African and African record, held since 2009 by George Du Rand at 1:55.75.

Coetze was .08 behind Masiuk’s meet record in the 100 back and .17 ticks back another meet mark for Masiuk in the 50.

Takehara, who was sixth in the 100, finished second in 1:58.22. Masiuk grabbed another medal in third at 1:58.55, just ahead of Greece’s Apostolos Siskos.

Women’s 100 butterfly

Mizuki Hirai and Beatriz Bezerra went stroke for stroke down the stretch. But it was the Japanese teen who got to the wall first in 59.53 seconds, edging the Brazilian by 16 one-hundredths. Bezerra, also second in the 50 fly, clocked in at 59.69.

Third went to South Korea’s Hajung Yang in 1:00.10.

Men’s 1,500 freestyle

It’s a distance double for Carlos Garach Benito, the Spaniard claiming the 1,500 in 15:08.14. Garach also won the 800 free earlier in the week and was fourth in the 200 free. Garach was 4.57 seconds up on the field.

Laszlo Galicz of Hungary finished second in 15:12.71. Third was Vlad Stancu of Romania with his third medal of the event, after bronze in the 800 and silver in the 400. He went 15:17.97. Stephan Steverink, the 400 free champ, was fourth.

Women’s 50 freestyle

Bianca-Andreea Costea of Romania won the women’s splash and dash, her time of 25.35 getting her to the wall 0.18 seconds ahead of Italy’s Sara Curtis. Costea had been fourth in the 100 free.

Much like the 100 free, Italians finished second and third. This time, Matilde Biagiotti landed a step down from her 100 placement, getting bronze in 25.60. She just edged Croatia’s Jana Pavalic by .02 seconds.

Men’s 200 butterfly

The Chmielewski twin show that played so well at the 2021 European Junior Championships goes intercontinental.

Just like they did in Rome last summer, Krzysztof Chmielewski capped the summer with gold in the 200 fly, and his twin brother Michal Chmielewski grabbed silver. Krzysztof was well out in front, going wire-to-wire to win in 1:55.78. It’s his second gold of the meet to go with bronze in the 400 free.

Michal Chmielewski was easily the best of the rest of the field in 1:57.69. Ei Kamikawabata of Japan finished third in 1:58.37, the only other swimmer to crack two minutes.

Men’s 50 breaststroke

After being denied in the final 50 of the 100 breast, Serbia’s Uros Zivanovic wouldn’t settle for less than gold Sunday in the 50. He routed the field with a time of 27.70 seconds, .51 clear of the crowd.

Second was Alex Sabattani of Italy in 28.21. Austrian Luka Mladenovic, who won the 100 breast, finished third in 28.32.

Women’s 200 freestyle

As the field turned for home, the crowd in Lima knew the gold medal was bound for Hungary. They just weren’t sure which swimmer would be packing it in her bag.

The answer was Nikolett Padar, who did just enough to overtake her countrywoman Lilla Minna Abraham down the stretch by .04 seconds. Padar won gold in 1:58.19, Abraham grabbing silver in 1:58.23. Just .01 separated them on the final 50 and .07 over the last 100.

Third was another Italian medal, in the hands of Giulia Vetrano in 1:59.54. Merve Tuncel was denied a fourth gold at the low end of her expansive expertise, the Turkish teen finishing fourth in 2:00.61.

Men’s 400 medley relay

Poland capped the meet with a gold medal with one Chmielewski tied behind its back.

The foursome of Ksawery Masiuk, Filip Urbanski, Michal Chmielewski and Krzysztof Matuszewski won with easy, going 3:40.17. Masiuk, in his third battle with South Africa’s Pieter Coetze of the meet and second of the night, put them .20 seconds up on the South Africans. Urbanski’s 1:02.40, the fastest in the race, removed all doubt.

For Masiuk, that’s four gold medals and six total, making him the most decorated athlete at the meet.

South Africa grabbed a silver medal in 3:42.95 (Pieter Coetze, Kian Keylock, Jarden Eaton, Luca Holtzhausen) with France rallying on Matteo Robba’s anchor leg for bronze, .34 up on Brazil.

Women’s 400 freestyle relay

Japan finished the meet with gold in a close race that nonetheless controlled wire to wire. Yizuki Mizuno, Yumeno Kusuda, Mizuki Hirai and Mio Narita posted a time of 4:06.44, leading at every handoff to nab gold. They were 0.47 seconds up on silver winners Italy (Sara Curtis, Irene Mati, Paola Borrelli, Matilde Biagiotti).

Baigiotti tried to make things interesting, going 55.25 on the anchor to move the Italians past Poland into silver. But Narita’s 56.17 was just enough. Poland grabbed bronze in 4:08.22 after running second most of the way.

Notify of

Welcome to our community. We invite you to join our discussion. Our community guidelines are simple: be respectful and constructive, keep on topic, and support your fellow commenters. Commenting signifies that you agree to our Terms of Use

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x