2021 SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
- April 7th – April 10th
- Newton Park, Gqeberha, South Africa
- Primary Olympic Selection Meet
- RSA Olympic Selection Criteria
- LCM Format (50m)
- Live Results
- Live Stream (Youtube)
- Day 1 Recap
- Day 2 Recap
- Day 3 Recap
On the 4th day of racing at the 2021 South African National Championships, Tatjana Schoenmaker rocketed to a 1:05.74 national and continental record to win the 100 breaststroke and qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in the event.
Schoenmaker’s previous South African and African record in the event was a 1:05.89 earlier this year at the Stellenbosch Camp Evaluation in Cape Town. That 1:05.89 was the third-fastest swim in the world this season but with a 1:05.74, Schoenmaker jump to #2, over-taking Martina Carraro’s 1:05.86.
While she’s #2 in the rankings this year, Schoenmaker is now tied with Annamay Pierse as the 12th fastest woman in the event in history.
All-time Women’s 100 Breaststroke Long Course Rankings
- Lilly King, USA (2017) – 1:04.13
- Ruta Meilutyte, Lithuania (2013) – 1:04.35
- Yuliya Efimova, Russia (2017) – 1:04.36
- Jessica Hardy, USA (2009) – 1:04.45
- Rebecca Soni, USA (2009) – 1:04.84
- Katie Meili, USA (2017) – 1:05.03
- Leisel Jones, Australia (2006) – 1:05.09
- Liping Ji, China (2009) – 1:05.32
- Katy Freeman, USA (2009) – 1:05.32
- Qi Hui, China (2009) – 1:05.47
- Chen Huijia, China (2009) – 1:05.64
- Annamay Pierse, Canada (2009) / Tatjana Schoenmaker, South Africa (2021) – 1:05.74
The swim for Schoenmaker secured her spot on the South African Olympic team this summer, getting well under the required cut of 1:07.07. Schoenmaker was joined on the podium by Lara van Niekerk (1:07.40) and Kaylene Corbett (1:08.88) who were both just a bit off the Olympic selection cut.
By establishing a new South African record in the 100 breast, Schoenmaker has successfully re-written all three breaststroke national records at this single swim meet. Earlier in the week she lowered the 50 breaststroke mark to a 30.32 and followed that with a new 200 breast NR of 2:20.17. The 200 swim was also enough to qualify her for Tokyo, getting under the required 2:25.52.
The 200 breast was the fastest time on record this year, meaning that with only a few weeks to go until Tokyo, Schoenmaker is the top-ranked swimmer in the 200 and the second-ranked swimmer in the 100.
That makes Schoenmaker the only swimmer ranked within the top three in both Olympic breaststroke events right now while Lilly King holds the second-best combined ranking with 1st in the 100 breast and 4th in the 200.
With those rankings, Schoenmaker has a shot this summer to become the first South African woman to collect an Olympic medal in Swimming since Penny Heyns won bronze in the 100 breast at Sydney 2000. Four years prior to 2000, Heyns won gold in both the 100 and 200 breast at Atlanta 1996, becoming the first and currently the only woman to win both titles at a singles Olympics.