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Tatjana Schoenmaker - South Africa`s world record in the 200-metre breaststroke


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Tatjana Schoenmaker is a South African swimmer specialising in breaststroke events. She is the world record holder in the long course 200-metre breaststroke and the African record holder in the long course and short course 100-metre breaststroke as well as the short course 200-metre breaststroke. She is a former African record holder in the long course 50-metre breaststroke and former South African record holder in the short course 50-metre breaststroke. She won the gold medal and set the world record in the 200-metre breaststroke and also won the silver medal in the 100-metre breaststroke at the 2020 Olympic Games.


Photo: @tatjanaschoen Source: Instagram


Since coming into the limelight as one of the best female swimmers in Mzansi, Tatjana has been recognized numerous times for her swimming prowess. SwimSwan named her the African Female Swimmer of the Year in 2019 and 2020. She also emerged as the Sportswoman of the Year and Sports Star of the Year at the 2019 South African Sport Award.

Tatjana’s passion for swimming started when she was five years old. She revealed that she participated in the first competition at eight years old. However, she did not make swimming her main sport until towards the end of her high school education.

She started her swimming breakthrough as a youth swimmer. In 2014, a then 16-year-old Tatjana 11th grade student from Tuks Sport High school, won a gold medal for 50m Breaststroke at the 2nd Africa Youth Games held in Botswana. She has since won at various national and international swimming competitions.


Photo: @Maddie Meyer Source: Getty Images


The athlete went to Tuks Sport High School, from where she graduated in 2015. She then joined the University of Pretoria to pursue a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Financial Science. She graduated in 2020 with her family in Pretoria during the Covid-19 lockdown and shared her joy on social media.


Photo: @tatjanaschoen Source: Instagram


Just having that confidence in yourself and also being at that level of competition, I needed those other years of experience of Commonwealth 2018 and World Champs 2019 to stand at the Olympics and just enjoy it, instead of being so scared to race because the best in the world are there.

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