Jul 30, 2021 - Sports

South Africa's Tatjana Schoenmaker breaks world record in 200m breaststroke

Photo of Tatjana Schoenmaker with her mouth agape and an expression of disbelief on her face
Photo: Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images

South Africa's Tatjana Schoenmaker snagged gold on Thursday night ET in the 200m breaststroke, edging out two-time Olympic medalist Lilly King to break the world record from 2013.

Driving the news: Though Schoenmaker had faltered in the semifinals, she exploded on Thursday, shooting across the pool and back to clock in at 2:18.95. Her win is South Africa's first Olympic gold at Tokyo 2020.

  • Schoenmaker erupted in tears after setting a stunning world record time. She'd already smashed multiple records heading into the Olympics.

The big picture: Schoenmaker, 24, earned her first Olympic medal, a silver, in the 100m breaststroke earlier this week. It was the first Olympic medal for a South African woman in swimming since 2000.

  • Americans King and Annie Lazor took home the silver and bronze, respectively.
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