2019 African Female Swimmer of the Year: Tatjana Schoenmaker, South Africa
Tatjana Schoenmaker had a historic year in 2019, writing her name in the world history books and in South African history.
Schoenmaker’s breakout started at the 2019 World University Games, where she won titles in the 100 breast and 200 breast. Her 100 breast in Naples was good enough to break the South African and African continental record with a 1:06.32.
The 22-year-old then had the opportunity to represent South Africa at the 2019 World Championships, roughlyy 3 weeks after WUGs. There, Schoenmaker broke the South African/African record in the 200 breast (2:21.79) during the semi-finals. The next day, Schoenmaker became the first South African woman to medal at the LC World Championships after picking up silver in the 200 breast final behind Russian Yulia Efimova.
Schoenmaker’s stellar efforts over the summer contributed to the 22-year-old being named Sports Star of the Year and Sportswoman of the Year at the 2019 South Africa Sports Awards in November.
in no particular order
- Tayla Lovemore, South Africa — Just like breakstroke countrywoman Schoenmaker, Lovemore ended her WUGs stint with 2 gold medals. Lovemore won the 50 fly by 0.13s over Japan’s Ai Somo and the 100 fly by 0.08s over American Dakota Luker. Lovemore also broke the 50 fly South African record before countrywoman Gallagher re-wrote her name on it.
- Erin Gallagher, South Africa — The 20-year-old Gallagher had a successful run at the 2019 African Games just a month after swimming at the 2019 Worlds meet. At the African Games in Morocco, Gallagher picked up 4 medals, 3 gold and 1 silver. Among her medals, her 50 free winning time of 24.95 made her the first South African woman to break 25 seconds. She also took back her 50 fly South African record, which was held by Lovemore for a period of time. Her efforts got her named the Best Female Athlete of the African Games by the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), which was honored in October.
- Farida Osman, Egypt — Osman returned to the LC Worlds pool and defended her 50 fly bronze behind Olympians Sarah Sjostrom and Ranomi Kromowidjojo. She then returned to the US and represented the LA Current for the inaugural ISL season. During her time in the ISL, Osman set 3 new African SCM records in the 50 free and 50/100 fly.
All 2019 Women’s African Records
- 50 Free (SCM): Farida Osman (EGY), 24.37
- 100 Breast: Tatjana Schoenmaker (RSA), 1:06.32
- 200 Breast: Tatjana Schoenmaker (RSA), 2:21.79
- 50 Fly (SCM): Farida Osman (EGY), 25.31
- 100 Fly (SCM): Farida Osman (EGY), 56.46
- 100 Fly: Erin Gallagher (RSA), 57.67
- 400 Free Relay: Gallagher, Lovemore, Chelius, Meder (RSA), 3:43.35
- Mixed 400 Free Relay: Erasmus, Coetzee, Chelius, Gallagher (RSA), 3:31.24
- Mixed 400 Medley Relay: Reid, Schoenmaker, Coetzee, Gallagher (RSA), 3:49.90