Pieter Coetzé sets the pace in 100m backstroke heats at world champs
Pieter Coetzé clocked the fastest time in the men’s 100m backstroke heats at the world championships in Doha on Monday morning, as one other South African booked a spot in the evening semifinals.
Coetzé, the Commonwealth Games champion in this event, clocked 53.32sec as he easily won his heat ahead of Australian Bradley Woodward in 53.76.
The next fastest of the morning was Greek Evangelos Makrygiannis, winning the last heat of the morning in 53.43.
Coetzé is likely to shoot for his 52.78 African record in the semifinals or the final on Tuesday.
Lara van Niekerk advanced to the 100m breaststroke semifinals, touching in 1min 07.61sec to finish a distant sixth in her heat.
China’s Qianting Tang went the quickest in 1:06.16.
Matthew Sates, who is targeting the 200m butterfly and the individual medley races, missed out in the 200m freestyle, touching in 1:47.98 to end 27th overall.
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