Tatjana Schoenmaker came oh so close to setting a third African record at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games when she won her semi-final heat in the 100m-breaststroke in a time of 1:06.65.
Her time is just 0.13 seconds slower than the record (1:06.52) set by Penny Heyns in 1999. However, judging by Schoenmaker’s performances over the last four days it should be no surprise if she completes her hat-trick of record-breaking swims in tomorrow’s final.
In a matter of eight hours, the Tuks swimmer has improved her time in the 100m-breaststroke by more than a second. In the heats, she swam 1:07.69 which was the second fastest time. Only Australia’s Georgia Bohl who clocked 1:07.40 was faster.
Schoenmaker was the fastest in the semi-final. Bohl swam 1:07.13 so the indication is that the battle for gold in the final is going to be titanic. There are at least two more swimmers who are real medal contenders.
In spite of having won a gold medal in an African record time of 2:22.02 in the 200m-breaststroke Schoenmaker is reluctant to talk about the possibility of winning a second medal at the Games.
“I don’t overthink about winning another medal. It is more important to me to swim fast times. My goal today was to swim a time faster than 1:07.00 and I did. It is great when you are able to achieve what you set out to do,” said the Tuks swimmer.
She is also very non-committal about breaking Heyns’s record.
“I will certainly go for it. If it does not come up I will be OK with it. It was then not meant to be.”
She ascribes her success to being committed to put in the long and hard hours as well as having realised it serves no purpose on worrying about things she can’t control when competing.
“In the past, my nerves got to me as I worried about all sort of things instead of focusing on my race.”