Schoenmaker rattles 200m world record: ‘My best race ever’
Kaylene Corbett delivered a superb performance to win her 200m breaststroke heat in a personal best 2:22.48, setting the fourth fastest time of the opening round.
Tatjana Schoenmaker came within a whisker of breaking the world record in the women’s 200m breaststroke event in Tokyo on Wednesday. Picture: Maddie Meyer /Getty Images
Tatjana Schoenmaker fired another explosive statement on Wednesday, giving the world record a shake as she cemented her place as the gold medal favourite in the women’s 200m breaststroke at the Tokyo Olympics.
Having wrapped up the silver medal in the 100m final the day before, the 24-year-old breaststroke specialist rocketed to victory in 2:19.16, shattering the Olympic record in the first-round heats over four lengths.
Schoenmaker broke her own African 200m record of 2:20.17 set at the SA Championships in Gqeberha in April, touching the wall just 0.05 shy of the world best (2:19.11) held by Rikke Moller Pedersen of Denmark.
“That was honestly my best race ever,” Schoenmaker said.
“I was a little nervous, coming from the 100m, because I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel. And then I heard my coach (Rocco Meiring) screaming so I was like, ‘am I going too slow?’. It’s so hard, I never know. So I’m very happy with that race.”
Meanwhile, fellow South African Kaylene Corbett delivered a superb performance to win her 200m breaststroke heat in a personal best 2:22.48, setting the fourth fastest time of the opening round.
Schoenmaker and Corbett will turn out in the semifinals at 4.54am (SA time) on Thursday morning.
In other swimming events in the evening session on day five of the Games, the SA team – Erin Gallagher, and teenagers Aimee Canny, Rebecca Meder and Dune Coetzee – finished sixth in the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay heats.
While they set a new African record of 8:01.56, breaking the previous mark of 8:04.71 set by the national squad in Stellenbosch in February, they were eliminated ahead of the final.
And though Gallagher was second in her 100m freestyle heat in 54.75, and Martin Binedell finished second in his 200m backstroke heat in 1:58.47, they did not progress to the semifinals of their events.
Elsewhere, road cyclist Stefan de Bod took 14th place in the men’s time trial.
De Bod completed the 44.2km course in 57:57.10, with Primoz Roglic of Slovenia winning gold in 55:04.19.
On the football pitch, the national U-23 men’s squad lost 3-0 to Mexico in their third defeat of the group stages, bringing their tournament to an end.
Back in the pool, the SA women’s water polo team were handed their second defeat of the tournament, losing 21-1 against Canada.