How grit and hard work took Tatjana Schoenmaker from despair to Olympic gold

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Tatjana Schoenmaker was all smiles after clinching gold at the Olympics in Tokyo but friends say she was on the brink of burnout a few years ago. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Tatjana Schoenmaker was all smiles after clinching gold at the Olympics in Tokyo but friends say she was on the brink of burnout a few years ago. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

She’s the new golden girl of South African swimming: silver AND gold at the Olympic Games in Japan – and a world record thrown in with it too.

But if you had told Tatjana Schoenmaker five years ago that she’d win gold at the next Olympics, she might not have believed you because at that point, having failed to qualify for the 2016 Games, she was ready to throw in the towel and give up swimming.

Thank heavens she didn’t . . .

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