Tokyo Olympics

Tatjana Schoenmaker sets new Olympic record in 100m breaststroke to ignite Team SA Olympic campaign

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Tatjana Schoenmaker (Anton Geyser/SASPA)
Tatjana Schoenmaker (Anton Geyser/SASPA)

Tatjana Schoenmaker gave Team South Africa some much-needed good news at the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday when she qualified for the semi-final of the 100m breaststroke, setting a new Olympic record in the process.  

Swimming out of lane 5, the 24-year-old finished her heat in a time of 1:04.82 - beating American Lilly King's record from Rio 2016 - and qualified fastest for the semi-final, which takes place at 02:50 (SA time) on Monday morning. 

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It has been a difficult start at the Games for the South Africans, but there were a couple of impressive results earlier on Sunday with Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio finishing 13th in the women's road cycling race while surfer Bianca Buitendag qualified for the last 16.

Schoenmaker, though, is one of South Africa's medal contenders and it was important for her to get through her first swim in Japan, though few would have expected her to be this fast, this early on. 

South Africa's other participation in the pool on Sunday was Pieter Coetze, who finished last in 100m backstroke heats in a time of 54:05.

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