Swimming South Africa has not announced its full team for the 2023 World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, but one name was confirmed on Wednesday: 42-year-old Roland Schoeman.
This photo was from my first ever world championships. It was held in Fukuoka in 2001 & I won bronze in the 50m Freestyle.
Today I was notified that I’ve been included in this years world champs also to be held in Fukuoka. 22 years later I’m going to be racing in Fukuoka again. pic.twitter.com/dtY1YcxP96
— Roland Schoeman (@Rolandschoeman) May 24, 2023
Schoeman will likely be the oldest competitor in swimming at the World Championships, and is almost assuredly going to be the only competitor who won a medal the last time the meet was held in Fukuoka in 2001.
Those 2001 World Championships were Schoeman’s breakout international meet and where he won his first major medal: a bronze in the men’s 50 free, tying with Japan’s Tomohiro Yamanoi.
Schoeman is a three-time Olympic medalist, winning gold in 2004 in the 400 free relay, silver in the individual 100 free, and bronze in the 50 free. He also has three World Championships: one in the 50 free and two in the 50 fly.
His most recent international podiums came in 2010, but Schoeman has continued to race into his 40s. That run was interrupted when FINA gave him a one year suspension for a positive doping test in 2020 – which he blamed on a tainted supplement but was unable to provide an evidentiary sample for.
Schoeman, who lives in Arizona, United States, began his return to racing formally last October in yards, eventually building his way to a pair of top two finishes at the South African National Senior Championships in April. He won the 50 fly in 23.82 and was 2nd in the 50 free in 22.89 – matching the FINA “B” cut exactly. Pieter Coetze won that race in 22.30.
His best time in the 50 free since coming back is a 22.82 leading off a relay at the South African Championships.
While Schoeman is likely to be the oldest at this summer’s World Championships, 42-year-olds aren’t unheard of in the sprint events: Brazilian Nicholas Santos became the oldest swimmer ever to win a World Championship last year, in his last race, when he won the 50 fly.
Schoeman was born on July 3, 1980, meaning he will be 43 by the time the World Championships kick off.
The 2023 World Aquatics Championships run from July 14-July 30, 2023 in Fukuoka, Japan. The swimming competition runs from July 23-30.
Roland Schoemans Twitter lmaooooo bro needs to cry more
Why do swimswammers hate Schoeman but praise Santos? Shouldnt be both judged the same?
1) Santos doesn’t call us names on social media. Being a decent person goes a long way.
2) Santos proved his source of contamination.
3) Santos was long enough ago that honestly many people probably forgot or don’t know.
Long ago but still a cheater. Being nice doesnt make him less of a cheater you know
Personally, I want all cheaters (including Roland) to be held accountable. Remember, there are kids watching.
Doping is not an example for the kids!
How do we define “held accountable”? If he went through the process and had to sit in front of impartial arbiters and state his case and then serve a punishment, isn’t that the definition of being held accountable?
Roland was a proven cheater. Terrible role model for kids.
Once a cheater, always a cheater, and likely a cheater in the future.
That’s not what your original comment said. It said “held accountable.” And now you’re refusing to defend that statement.
“On this episode of Pitchforks & Pancakes…”
Good on him. Amazing at 43, he’s a year older than me hahah
It usually doesn’t bother me much when swimmers return to competition after serving out their suspension. But man, I can’t root for this guy when he seems so angry and spiteful all the time. Being full of rage isn’t helping his case for being clean…
I also find it interesting that Tim Hinchey liked Schoeman’s angry tweet about this relatively benign article
Does he seriously expect that his suspension will never be mentioned again?
Tim Hinchey likes a lot of weird Tweets.
Also, it’s probably less that Hinchey likes Roland’s anger and more that Tim Hinchey also dislikes ss. He was fuming around the office when they reported his salary.
The people who don’t really like this comeback (has I don’t) should not aplaude another 42 year old world champion that also test positive in 2011. Lets not forget that!
Keeping that same energy!
I can’t love this comeback story. I want to, but he’s discredited himself. Cheaters gonna cheat. Zero respect for him & others who have done the same. Move on & let the next gen make waves.
Y’all see what Roland said about you on his IG?
Reminds me of the time that Rowdy Gaines thought he would win the public back by calling people names.
If he wants us to forget how poorly he treated his peers who claimed the same contamination that he did, this is not the way to do it. Gotta just keep apologizing man. You made your bed, don’t set it on fire now.
I’m wondering how long Roland cheated before he got caught? And I wonder if he’s still cheating today.
Not bad! Did he get sponsored by Nugenix or something?
MIKE IN DALLAS defending Roland Schoeman is disturbingly similar to our hero Guerra defending Ray Looze and the Indiana Hoosier
I can assure you that I don’t have to defend anyone and certainly not a swimmer with a distinguished career as he has.
he made a mistake.
he has paid a significant price for it
and now we all move on. But I’m happy to listen to your whining. It may be very therapeutic