Olympics: South African Tatjana Schoenmaker Just Misses World Record in Prelims of 200 Breaststroke

Jul 28, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Tatjana Schoenmaker (RSA) waves after the women's 200m breaststroke heats during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher/USA Today Sports

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Olympics: South African Tatjana Schoenmaker Just Misses World Record in Prelims of 200 Breaststroke

It is evident South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker is carrying significant confidence.

Coming off a silver medal in the 100-meter breaststroke earlier in the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Schoenmaker just missed the world record in the 200 breaststroke, going an Olympic record of 2:19.16 for the second-fastest time in history. Despite having two rounds to go, Schoenmaker decided to make a statement in the preliminaries and earned the top seed by nearly three seconds. The world record stands at 2:19.11, set in 2013 by Denmark’s Rikke Moller Pedersen.

Schoenmaker was the silver medalist in the 200 breaststroke at the 2019 World Championships and came into the event as the top seed, thanks to a personal best of 2:20.17. Her prelim outing was a swim of beauty, as she jumped out to an early advantage and continued to press the pace. She will give the global standard another chase when she returns to the blocks for the semifinals on Thursday morning.

“Amazing,” Schoenmaker said. “I was a little nervous coming in from the 100. It’s a whole extra hundred and that’s the hard part about it. So I was a little nervous. But my teammate who swam two heats before me motivated me. She swam a (personal best) by two seconds, so I thought maybe I could do well as well today. She definitely made me feel more relaxed about going into the 200. I don’t think I have words to say how happy I am.”

The United States’ Lilly King is the second seed for the semifinals, following a swim of 2:22.10. King won the bronze medal in the 100 breaststroke and was just ahead of Russia’s Evgenia Chikunova (2:22.16) and South Africa’s Kaylene Corbett (2:22.48). American Annie Lazor, the U.S. Trials champion, was fifth in 2:22.76, with Great Britain’s Molly Renshaw going 2:22.99.


Women’s 200 Breaststroke

World Record: Rikke Moller Pedersen, Denmark, 2:19.11 (2013)
Olympic Record: Rebecca Soni, United States, 2:19.59 (2012)


1. Tatjana Schoenmaker (South Africa) 2:19.16
2. Lilly King (United States) 2:22.10
3. Evgeniia Chikunova (Russia) 2:22.16
4. Kaylene Corbett (South Africa) 2:22.48
5. Annie Lazor (United States) 2:22.76
6. Molly Renshaw (Great Britain) 2:22.99
7. Mariia Temnikova (Russia) 2:23.13
8. Yu Jingyao (China) 2:23.17
9. Jenna Strauch (Australia) 2:23.30
10. Jessica Vall (Spain) 2:23.31
11. Fanny Lecluyse (Belgium) 2:23.42
12. Sophie Hansson (Sweden) 2:23.82
13. Francesca Fangio (Italy) 2:23.89
14. Lisa Mamie (Switzerland) 2:23.91
15. Abbie Wood (Great Britain) 2:24.13
16. Kelsey Wog (Canada) 2:24.27


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2 years ago

Was thrilled to hear why Schoenmaker wears two caps. “All the glory to God” written on the the white cap.

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