Tatjana Schoenmaker has won South Africa’s first gold medal of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the swimmer taking out the women’s 200 metres breaststroke in world-record time.
Schoenmaker, from Johannesburg, won in a time of 2 min 18.95 sec, breaking the mark of 2:19.11 set by Denmark’s Rikke Moller Pedersen at the 2013 world championships in Barcelona.
Lilly King, of the United States, took the silver medal, with her teammate Annie Lazor third.
Schoenmaker’s South African teammate Kaylene Corbett, from Bloemfontein, finished fifth.
Schoenmaker had previously won the silver medal in the women’s 100m breaststroke, finishing second to Lydia Jacoby.
King led until the 150m turn, when Schoenmaker went in front and delivered a powerful final length to smash the world record and grab gold.
“It still hasn’t sunk in,” Schoenmaker said.
“I don’t wish my Olympic dream over, but I am excited to go and celebrate even just being at the Olympics.”
Schoenmaker’s gold medal was the second African victory in Tokyo’s Olympic pool, after Tunisia’s Ahmed Hafnaoui won the men’s 400m freestyle on Sunday.
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