Schoenmaker Throws Down 2:20.17 200 Breast To Become 7th Fastest Of All Time


Racing at the 2021 South African National Championships, Tatjana Schoenmaker threw down an incredible 2:20.17 200 breaststroke to set a new South African and African record, become the fastest woman in the world this year, and the 7th fastest swimmer of all time. Additionally, the swim was fast enough to earn Schoenmaker a spot on her first-ever Olympic squad as she got well under the required cut of 2:25.52.

Check out footage of Schoenmaker’s Olympic-qualifying swim here:

The swim for Schoenmaker allowed her to surpass Russian breaststroker Evgenia Chikunova‘s 2:21.63 which she swam yesterday for the top spot in the world this season. Her previous season-best in the event was a 2:23.05 from back in December.

2020-2021 LCM Women 200 Breast

View Top 26»

The swim also makes Schoenmaker the 7th-fastest performer in history, surpassing Leisel Jones’s 2:20.54 from 2006. The swim is among the fastest 200 breaststrokes that the world has seen since Rie Kaneto hit a 2:19.65 back in April of 2016. A 2:20.17 200 breast would have been fast enough to earn gold at the 2016 Olympic Games where Kameto swam a 2:20.30 to take gold.

200 Breaststroke All-Time World Rankings

  1. Rikke Møller Pederson (2013) – 2:19.11
  2. Yuliya Efimova (2013) – 2:19.41
  3. Rebecca Soni (2012) – 2:19.59
  4. Viktoria Gunes (2015) – 2:19.64
  5. Rie Kaneto (2016) – 2:19.65
  6. Annamay Pierse (2009) – 2:20.12
  7. Tatjana Schoenmaker (2021) – 2:20.17
  8. Leisel Jones (2006) – 2:20.54

The swim for Schoenmaker comes just two days after she broke her own 50 breaststroke at 2021 South African Nationals by swimming a 30.32.

Now that Schoenmaker has punched her ticket for her first-ever Olympic Games, she will look to add a second event to her lineup in Tokyo as she will race the 100 breaststroke as top seed and national record holder on day 5 of the meet.

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2 months ago

I can’t see her leaving Tokyo without a medal at the very least – She’s just so strong. Every chance of a medal in the 100 too.

Philip Johnson
Reply to  Dee
2 months ago

When was the last time a South African woman won an Olympic medal? I can’t even remember.

Reply to  Philip Johnson
2 months ago

Heyns in Sydney probably?

Gen D
Reply to  Dee
2 months ago

She did get silver at World Champs in 2019 so she has proven that she can do it on the big stage

Jonathan Charbroiled Steak
2 months ago

Oml that is one FAST fast swim

Steve Nolan
2 months ago

That top 8 is super weird. Basically no super suit times OR times from the last 5 years.

Last edited 2 months ago by Steve Nolan
Reply to  Steve Nolan
2 months ago

How is it weird? I think the same is true on the men’s side. Breastroke is the only stroke that has progressed a lot in the last 5 or so years. In most other strokes (male of female) top times from 5 or even 10 years ago would still be super competitive today. In some events the time it takes to final has even gotten slower over the last couple of olympics.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  AnEn
2 months ago

It’s weird because either some events haven’t progressed since the super suits at all – women’s 200 fly – or most have seen drops sort of linearly since then. It’s weird that an event just got real fast in the mid 2010s compared to the 5 years before or after.

Hope that helps.