Tatjana Schoenmaker raced into the history books becoming the first South African woman to win a medal at the World Long-Course Championships bagging the silver in the 200m breaststroke in Gwangju, South Korea on Friday.
The South African put on a brave fight for the silver medal in a close tussle with Canada’s Sydney Pickrem with Schoenmaker touching second in a time of two minutes, 22.52 seconds (2:22.52). The duo chased after defending champion Yuliya Efimova, but the Russian was in a class of her own hitting the wall more than two seconds ahead of Schoenmaker.
Schoenmaker’s time was slightly slower than the SA record she clocked the night before when she finished second in her semi-final with a time of 2:21.79.
Training partner Kaylene Corbett joined her in the final marking the first time in nearly two decades that South Africa will have two women in a final at a major global swimming event.
The duo follows in the footsteps of Olympic legend Penny Heyns and Sarah Poewe, who featured in the 100m breaststroke final at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.