Tokyo Olympics: Tatjana Schoenmaker wins the Gold Medal for South Africa by Smashing World Record

Entering the race, Schoenmaker was the weighty top choice to win,The 24-year-old planned 2min 18.95sec to better the 2:19.11 set by Denmark’s Rikke Moller Pedersen in 2013.  Schoenmaker becomes the first woman to swim under 2:19 in the events .

America’s Lilly King was second in 2:19.92 with her colleague and preparing accomplice Annie Lazor third in 2:20.84. The 24-year-old Schoenmaker, who won silver in the 100m occasion, had flagged her expectation by going near the record in the warms and she committed no error in the last.

Ruler went out quick and turned first at both the 50m and 100m imprint before Schoenmaker took her action, pulling in the American to contact first.

It made her the main female South African to win an Olympic swimming gold since 1996, when Penny Heyns cleared the ladies’ 100 and 200 breaststroke.

What makes this swim for Schoenmaker even more incredible is that 5 years ago South Africa sent 0 women to the Olympic Games for swimming while sending 11 men to race individually. Schoenmaker’s best time in the 200 breaststroke at the time of Rio 2016 Olympics was a 2:27.79 in the 200 breaststroke which means that she’s improved by nearly 10 seconds over the past 10 years.

By 2021, South Africa had qualified 6 women to swim at the Tokyo Olympics individually along with another 2 women who represented the nation on the 4×200 freestyle.

It was the third world record in the Tokyo pool, however the main individual one after Australia’s ladies set another imprint in the 4x100m transfer and China did likewise in the ladies’ 4x200m hand-off.

It made her the principal female South African to win an Olympic swimming gold since 1996, when Penny Heyns cleared the ladies’ 100 and 200 breaststroke.

 

 

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