Commonwealth Games

It's no longer just the Chad & Cameron show in the pool!

2018-04-07 20:27
Tatjana Schoenmaker (Gallo Images)
Tatjana Schoenmaker (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - For as long as any swimming fan can recall, Team SA was effectively the 'Chad le Clos and Cameron van der Burgh' show.

A two-man squad for all intents and purposes at every Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games and FINA World Championship.

Not anymore, for there's a new hero on the scene.

Or should I say, heroine.

Little-known Tatjana Schoenmaker announced herself at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Australia's Gold Coast on Saturday in no uncertain terms.

Schoenmaker, at just 20 years of age, smashed the African record in taking gold in the women's 200m breaststroke, finishing in 2:22.02 to obliterate Suzaan van Biljon's previous mark of 2:23.21 set at the 2012 Olympics in London.

Schoenmaker became the first South African female swimmer to win a Commonwealth Games medal - of any colour - in eight years.

On Friday, Schoenmaker hinted something 'big' was on the horizon when she broke South African 'golden girl' Penny Heyns' 19-year-old 50m breaststroke record in finished fourth in the final.

For the record, Heyns' 200m breaststroke gold medal-winning time at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics was 2:25.41, while the current world record over the distance is held by Denmark's Rikke Moller Pedersen at 2:19.11.

Schoenmaker will now turn her attention to the 100m breaststroke, the heats of which will take place in the early hours of Sunday morning, SA time.

While Le Clos closes in on the all-time Commonwealth Games medal-winning record and Van der Burgh says goodbye to his final Games, the world eagerly awaits Schoenmaker's next record-breaking feat.

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