Tatjana Schoenmaker laid down a world-class marker as she clocked the fastest time in the 200m breaststroke heats at the Commonwealth Games on Sunday morning.
The Olympic champion’s 2 min 21.76 sec effort was more than three seconds quicker than her nearest competitor, Jenna Strauch of Australia who finished second behind her in 2:24.97.
But more impressively is that her time was the third-fastest in the world so far this year, behind only two Americans including Lilly King, who posted the 2:21.19 world lead at the US trials in April.
Schoenmaker, owner of the 2:18.95 world record, looked completely comfortable and yet she sailed past the 2:22.41 King swam to win the world title in Budapest last month.
The 25-year-old Schoenmaker opted to skip the global gala to focus on the Birmingham showpiece.
It was a move that raised a few eyebrows, but Schoenmaker has justified her decision, showing she is the overwhelming favourite going into the final on Sunday night (9.20pm).
England’s Molly Renshaw won the other heat in 2:25.06, out-touching Schoenmaker’s stablemate Kaylene Corbett (2:25.08) to go into the final seeded third.
Newly crowned 100m backstroke champion Pieter Coetzé showed his intent in the 50m backstroke heats, laying down the fastest morning time in that event.