- Swimmer Pieter Coetze from Tshwane will represent South Africa at the Olympic Games in Japan this year
- The youngster is delighted to have qualified for the Olympics and says his ambition is to bag a number of gold medals for South Africa in Japan later this year
- However, Coetzee opts to remain modest and says he doesn’t regard himself as South Africa’s top breaststroke swimmer yet
A 16-year-old, Pieter Coetzee, is set to represent South Africa at the upcoming 2021 Olympic Games in Japan and has reflected on his journey.
The schoolboy is currently based in Tshwane and has accomplished a milestone many are still dreaming of.
Coetze has qualified to participate at the global showpiece as a senior swimmer in the 100m backstroke, set to be staged in Tokyo later this year.
According to the Pretoria Rekord, Coetze says he is targeting more gold medals and that he will train and work hard to realise his ambition. Coetzee told the Pretoria Rekord:
“I still want to swim for a long time and try to win medals at as many Olympic Games and World Championships as possible. And although I do not want to leave South Africa, I will definitely look into every opportunity that comes my way.
“Let’s put it this way: I’m going to train as if I want to win a medal, but if I finally get this chance just to gain experience against the world’s best or to even reach a final, I know I’ll be better equipped for the future. To make my people and my country proud.”
Moreover, Tuks Swimming reports that Coetzee bagged five gold medals during the 2019 African Junior Championships in Tunisia.
At the 2019 World Junior Championships in Budapest, the Tuks swimmer set personal best times in each of the backstroke events but missed out by a mere 0.06s to compete in the final of the 50m backstroke. He is quoted by Tuks Swimming:
"I am not yet South Africa's top backstroke swimmer. Christopher Reid, who holds the South African 100m-backstroke record (53.12s) and studies in the USA is. The experience I would gain from competing against the world’s best at the Olympics will stand me in good stead."
As she was targeting a spot at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, Semenya’s route took a massive blow as she failed to qualify.
Despite the 800m Olympic champion having clinched the win in 15 minutes, clocking 52.28 seconds (15:52.28), it was unfortunately outside the qualifying time required, which is 15:10.00, en route to Japan.
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