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Schoenmaker makes SA sports history at World Swimming Champs

by ZwemZa on July 30th, 2019

Tatjana Schoenmaker (Twitter)

Local swimming sensation Tatjana Schoenmaker has continued her good form of recent months by winning a historic silver medal at the World Championships in Korea.

Pretoria’s new swimming star Tatjana Schoenmaker continued her role as Swim South Africa’s “poster girl” when she won a silver medal in the 200m-breaststroke during the World Championships in Korea last week.

With this achievement, Schoenmaker made history, as it is the first time any South African women’s swimmer has medalled at a long-course World Championship.

Last year the Tuks swimmer was also the first to win gold medals at a Commonwealth Games and two weeks back the first to win gold at a World Student Games.

During last week’s semi-final Schoenmaker set a new Africa and South African record by swimming a time of 2:21.79. Her time in the final was 2:22.52. Russia’s Yuliay Efimova won in 2:20.17, while Sydney Pickrem from Canada was third in 2:22.90.

“Tatjana stepped up to the plate when it mattered. Only Efimova, who has a fantastic CV when it comes to competing at big international events in the breaststroke, managed to beat her. I don’t think South African sports fans understand how a big a breakthrough this is. Especially in the year before the Olympic Games,” said Suzaan van Biljon who herself was a former African and South African record holder in the 200m-breaststroke as well as Olympian in 2008 and 2012.

Van Biljon was also very excited about the fact that South Africa had two participants competing in the same final at a World Championship. Kaylene Corbett finished 8th in the 200m-breaststroke in a time of 2:26.62.

With the times Schoenmaker swam in the semi-final and final she has provisionally twice qualified for next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Van Biljon’s advice to Schoenmaker and Corbett is not to get too obsessed about qualifying for the Olympics.

“They should enjoy the process and not only stress about getting results,” said the former Olympian star.

She also praised the head coach at TuksSwimming, Rocco Meiring.

“Rocco is, without a doubt, one of the best in the world, especially when it comes to getting female swimmers to perform to the best of their ability,” Van Biljon concluded.

Rekord Pretoria

From → African News

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