Tatjana Schoenmaker Smashes African Record, Wins 200 Breast Gold


South African Tatjana Schoenmaker shocked the favorites to win the women’s 200 breast at the Commonwealth Games, clocking a time of 2:22.02 to win by well over a second. After coming close in the heats, the 20-year-old took down the African continental record by 1.19 seconds, knocking Suzaan van Biljon‘s 2012 mark of 2:23.21 off the books.

This is her second African record of the competition, lowering the mark in the 50 breast earlier when she placed 4th in 30.82.

Schoenmaker has steadily been on the rise, impressively winning silver at last summer’s World University Games in a time of 2:24.61. That stood as her personal best until the prelims, where she took the top seed into the final at 2:23.57.

She beat an impressive lineup in the race, with England’s Molly Renshaw winning silver in 2:23.28 and Chloe Tutton of Wales taking bronze in 2:23.42. Renshaw was 6th at last summer’s World Championships, and 4th and 5th place finishers Kierra Smith and Taylor McKeown also swam in the final in Budapest. Schoenmaker didn’t even compete there, but now asserts herself as one to watch as we head into the next Olympics in 2020. She now sits atop the world rankings for 2018.

Schoenmaker’s teammates Kaylene Corbett and Emily Visagie also swam in tonight’s final, signalling women’s breaststroke in South Africa is in a good place. Schoenmaker’s win is also South Africa’s first gold in this event at the Commonwealth Games. Last year Schoenmaker was the first South African women to make their elite roster since 2013, and it looks like she has reignited women’ swimming in the country. You can read about that here.

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bobo gigi
2 years ago

Impressive performance. Never heard of her until today. I didn’t follow world university games last year.
SA has a great tradition of breaststrokers with CVDB on the men’s side and Heyns, Poewe or van Biljon on the women’s side.

2 years ago

Excellent swim

Sum Ting Wong
2 years ago

Is she looking for assylum , coz Aust needs some decent breastrokers . Ours lead very good lives , holidaying in Bali , driving Jags & don’t have to win much , just some local races . Oh & wear umpteen different pairs of swimmers . Should be a shoe in .

Reply to  Sum Ting Wong
2 years ago


Sum Ting Wong
Reply to  Hswimmer
2 years ago

In 2006 we had plenty of African assylum seekers stay behind.

bobo gigi
Reply to  Sum Ting Wong
2 years ago

Translation? 🙂

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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