The swimming sensation earned South Africa's first gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Games by storming to a world record in the 200m breaststroke on Friday.
Schoenmaker, who won silver in the 100m breaststroke earlier in the week, was competing in her eighth race in five days and delivered a near-perfect performance under supreme pressure.
Her world-record time of 2:18.95 left her comfortably ahead of Americans Lilly King and Annie Lazor, who took silver and bronze. Schoenmaker was 0.97 seconds ahead of King. Team SA teammate Kaylene Corbett finished fifth in the final.
Tatjana Schoenmaker with her gold medal after winning in the women's 200m breaststroke final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on 30 July 2021. (Photo: EPA-EFE/Patrick B Kraemer)
The 24-year-old's victory marked the second African gold medal in the pool following Tunisian Ahmed Hafnaoui's success in the men's 400m freestyle on Sunday.
Schoenmaker went in front on the third lap and then delivered a powerful final length at the Tokyo Aquatic Centre to smash the world record and grab gold.
"It still hasn't really sunk in! I'm excited to also go back home and celebrate this with my family. I don't wish my...