Good day for SA as Tatjana, Buitendag scoop first medals

Swimming, surfing stars make country proud

Tatjana Schoenmaker of Team South Africa poses with the silver medal for the Women's 100m Breaststroke Final on day four of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on July 27, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.
Tatjana Schoenmaker of Team South Africa poses with the silver medal for the Women's 100m Breaststroke Final on day four of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on July 27, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.
Image: Tom Pennington

Swimming and surfing stars Tatjana Schoenmaker and Bianca Buitendag made the country proud in their respective events when they won silver medals at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, yesterday.

Schoenmaker won SA's first medal in the women's 100m breaststroke final at the Aquatics Centre in Tokyo.

South Africans woke up to the good news of Schoenmaker winning her first Olympic medal in her debut Games.

The 24-year-old, who specialist discipline is 200m breaststroke, clocked 1.05.22 to finish second behind 17-year-old Lydia Jacoby of the US (1.04.95).

Lilly King of the US settled for a bronze with 1.05.54 third place finish.

“We knew we were going to get a tough race going into the final. I cannot complain, and I have been happy since the heat. It was a great experience to swim with some of the best swimmers in the world. Congratulations to the youngster,” Schoenmaker said.

“We knew it was going to be a close race. It was a bit tough waking up in the morning and being on fire, but everyone is in the same boat. It was not my day, and I cannot thank God enough for giving me the talent.”

A few hours after Schoenmaker had bagged the silver, Buitendag produced an excellent  performance in the women's surfing event to also win a silver medal.

“I am super proud of my achievements, and I am a bit overwhelmed by what happened in the final. It was a fight, and every time I came out of the water in the heat, I told myself that if I do not collapse, it means that I did not do enough,” Buitendag said.

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