2019 FINA WORLD AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
- All sports: Friday, July 12 – Sunday, July 28, 2019
- Pool swimming: Sunday, July 21 – Sunday, July 28, 2019
- The Nambu University Municipal Aquatics Center, Gwangju, Korea
- Meet site
- Competition Schedule
- FinaTV Live Stream
- Entry Lists
After coming close in the 100, 22-year-old Tatjana Schoenmaker became the first South African woman in history to win a medal at the Long Course World Championships on day six in Gwangju, claiming silver in the women’s 200 breaststroke.
Coming off back-to-back 100 and 200 breast sweeps at the 2018 Commonwealth and 2019 World University Games, she swam to a new Continental Record in the 200 semis in a time of 2:21.79, and then clocked 2:22.52 in the final to place second behind Yuliya Efimova (2:20.12).
Schoenmaker joins Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe and Farida Osman of Egypt as the only female African medalists at LC Worlds. Coventry was an eight-time medalist over three Championships from 2005 to 2009, while Osman was the bronze medalist in the 50 fly two years ago in Budapest.
The South African women have historically been most successful on the international stage in the breaststroke events, and the 200 in particular.
Suzaan van Biljon was a back-to-back finalist in the event in 2005 and 2007, placing fourth in Melbourne. She also won three career medals at Short Course Worlds in the event, including a gold in 2008, and Penny Heyns and Sarah Poewe were also medalists in breast at the SC Championships.
This year, Kaylene Corbett joined Schoenmaker in the final after going a PB of 2:24.18 in the semis, ultimately finishing eighth.
South African women do, however, have eight Olympic medals in swimming, including four that came after the inaugural FINA World Championships in 1973.
Heyns swept the 100 and 200 breaststroke in Atlanta in 1996 and added a bronze in the 100 four years later in Sydney. The other relatively recent medal came in the 100 backstroke, where Marianne Kriel won bronze in Atlanta.
Schoenmaker’s medal adds to the bronze Chad Le Clos won in the 200 fly on day four. Le Clos will go for another on day seven after qualifying fourth for the 100m final.
AFRICAN RECORDS ON DAY SIX
- Malagasy: women’s 200 back – Idealy Tendrinavalona, 2:29.80
- Zimbabwean: men’s 50 free – Peter Wetzlar, 22.77
- Namibian: men’s 50 free – Xander Skinner, 23.04
- Ugandan: men’s 50 free – Atuhaire Ambala, 24.69