Though she was almost dismissive about her own performance, Tatjana Schoenmaker said she was delighted for her training partner Kaylene Corbett after they secured a podium double at the Commonwealth Games.
Schoenmaker, who had settled for fourth place in the women’s 50m breaststroke final the night before, coasted to a convincing victory over the 200m distance in 2:21.92, with Corbett grabbing bronze in 2:23.67.
“I’m not as happy for myself as I am for my friend Kaylene,” said Schoenmaker.
“I didn’t really care what my time was or where I was, I was just so excited and happy for Kaylene. I knew she could do it and I just wanted her to prove to herself that she could.”
After securing 100m and 200m gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast, Schoenmaker went on to secure silver over 200m at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju before earning 200m gold and 100m silver at last year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, where she also broke the 200m breaststroke world record by touching the wall in 2:18.95.
And while she referred to her latest gold in Birmingham as a “small win”, she insisted it would take pride alongside her long list of accolades, titles, trophies and medals.
“Every medal is special, but what makes this even more special is sharing it with Kaylene,” Schoenmaker said.
“She joined our (training) squad after the last Commonwealth Games, so we’ve had a four-year journey together and it’s so nice to have this moment with her.”
Corbett, who finished fifth in the 200m final at last year’s Olympics, was equally pleased with the best result of her career.
“This is a moment I will never forget, and to share it with Tatjana is incredible,” she said
“It’s a moment that is going to be ingrained in my head forever.”
Schoenmaker, Corbett and Lara van Niekerk were set to turn out again yesterday in the 100m breaststroke heats, in search of places in tonight’s final.
Following Van Niekerk’s victory in the 50m final at the weekend, SA women were aiming to secure a sweep of breaststroke titles at the Games.