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

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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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3 years ago

Can anyone explain why Corbett did a time trial to get the FINA A cut even though she got it at 2019 worlds? Wasnt she pre qualified ?

3 years 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.

3 years ago

She giving them the gas face.

3 years ago

I mean this with as much respect as possible, what happened to Viktoria Gunes?

Reply to  Penguin
3 years ago

I know she’s had a really tough professional career, but I forget the full story

Scott Morgan
3 years ago

She was maddeningly swimming wide circles in her lane. Probs a 2:19 effort wasted by swimming an extra metre or so.

3 years ago

Is it an old news? Why does ranking table in this article dates her result as 2/19?

3 years ago

Wow. Just wow.

3 years ago

…Does this make her the favorite?

Reply to  john26
3 years ago

I think she should be…

At the 2018 Commonwealths the most noticeable thing was how obscenely quickly she was through the sweep phases and back in to her glide. It isn’t the longest or prettiest glide, but she does everything else with so much speed and power, and in such a relentless way, that I just think the WR is on borrowed time.