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SA’s Schoenmaker wins GOLD, smashes world record to make history in Tokyo

Tatjana Schoenmaker reacts after winning the gold medal (Getty)

Tatjana Schoenmaker reacts after winning the gold medal (Getty)

Star swimmer Tatjana Schoenmaker claimed South Africa’s first gold Olympic medal in Tokyo as she won the women’s 200m breaststroke final on Friday, setting a new world record in the process. 

Swimming in lane 4, Schoenmaker timed her race to perfection, sitting behind American Lilly King for the first 100m but then finishing strongest for in the last 100m.

It was a flawless display from the 24-year-old, who touched the wall in a time of 2:18.95.

King took silver in 2:19.92 while American Annie Lazor rounded up the podium with the bronze medal (2:20.84).

South Africa’s Kaylene Corbett finished 5th in a time of 2:22.06.

Schoenmaker makes history by becoming the first South African female swimmer to win an Olympic gold medal since Penny Heyns at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.

Her win takes Team SA’s medal tally in Tokyo to three after she won silver in the women’s 100m breaststroke earlier this week, while surfer Bianca Buitendag also won a silver medal on Tuesday. 

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