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Sparkling Schoenmaker stands tall as SA's new Olympic conqueror: 'It just doesn't seem real'

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Tatjana Schoenmaker of Team South Africa is congratulated by Lilly King, Annie Lazor and Kaylene Corbett (Getty)
Tatjana Schoenmaker of Team South Africa is congratulated by Lilly King, Annie Lazor and Kaylene Corbett (Getty)

You couldn't separate the water from the tears as South African Tatjana Schoenmaker emerged from the pool at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on Friday morning.

As she touched the wall in the 200m breaststroke final, knowing that she had secured Olympic gold, the 24-year-old from Roodepoort took a moment to herself and sobbed.

When she eventually turned around and looked up at the electronic scoreboard, seeing that her winning time of 2:18.95 was a new 200m breaststroke world record, Schoenmaker let out a scream of ecstasy.

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