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WATCH: Second gold medal for SA as Pieter Coetze snatches 100m backstroke Commonwealth Games title

South Africa's Pieter Coetze with his gold medal after winning the Men's 100m Backstroke - Final. Photo: David Davies/PA Wire/BackpagePix

South Africa's Pieter Coetze with his gold medal after winning the Men's 100m Backstroke - Final. Photo: David Davies/PA Wire/BackpagePix

Published Jul 31, 2022

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Cape Town - It was a thrilling race right to the wall, but Pieter Coetze pulled off a superb finish to snatch the gold medal in the men's 100m backstroke final to claim South Africa's second title at the Commonwealth Games on Saturday night.

Earlier in the evening, 19-year-old Lara van Niekerk opened Mzansi's medal account with gold in the women’s 50m breaststroke in a new Games record time of 29.73 seconds.

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And then it was Coetze's turn to ensure that Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika rings out at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre in Birmingham.

The 18-year-old didn't have the best of starts, though, as he reacted slightly late to the buzzer.

That saw him trail New Zealand's Andrew Jeffcoat over the first half of the race.

But the tall South African clawed his way into the lead at the turn to edge ahead by nearly two-tenths of a second over the Kiwi.

Coetze, though, didn't see England’s Brodie Williams roaring ahead alongside him, and with the home crowd cheering him on, it looked like the South African had lost out on top spot.

But Coetze got out his long levers to touch the wall just ahead of Williams in a time of 53.78 seconds, with the English Englishman having to settle for silver in 53.91, while Australian Bradley Woodward secured the bronze in 54.06.

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