Every South African a Swimmer

Day 10 of the 18th FINA World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea

Day 10 of the 18th FINA World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea
Gwangju, Monday, 22nd July 2019 - South Africa’s golden girl in the pool Tatjana Schoenmaker qualified for her first final at the 18th FINA World Long-Course Championships in Gwangju, South Korea on Monday.

Schoenmaker showed no sign of nerves finishing second in her 100m breaststroke semi-final with a time of 1:06.61. She touched second behind former Russian world champion Yuliya Efimova, who won the race in a time of 1:05.56 which was the fastest of the two semi-finals.

Schoenmaker said she was delighted to advance to her first final at the global showpiece where she had a chance to challenge for a medal.

“I am happy, I came second in my heat so now in the final I have a chance, and I am here for the experience to race. So it is awesome,” Schoenmaker said.

The 22-year-old believed she had more in the tank after coming within 0.2s off the national record she clocked in her gold medal swim at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

“I have a morning rest, so hopefully that will help me a bit, and I have to trust my stroke. It is hard when you are racing these fast people.”

“You see them sprinting next to you, and you think ‘am I behind’ so it is about racing your race,” concluded Schoemaker.

Schoenmaker was the only South African to feature in the evening’s swimming after the rest fell short during the morning heats.

Rio Olympian Christopher Reid came painstakingly short of featuring in the men’s 100m backstroke semi-finals and was one of the reserves after finishing 19th overall with a time of 54.12 seconds. “It was a good race for me…it showed me that I still had some speed, the 200m backstroke is the priority for me, I will give it my best shot in the 200m and technically nothing is wrong,” said Reid.

In the women’s 100m backstroke Mariella Venter could not qualify for the next round despite finishing third in her heat in 1:02.95.

Eben Vorster featured in the men’s 200m freestyle heats but could not advance finishing 44th overall clocking 1:51.70.

Meanwhile, the women’s water polo team finished their campaign at the global championships in 14th place following a 21-2 defeat to Japan in their classification match.

Japan was in dominant form, winning all four quarters with Georgia Moir and Amica Hallendorff scoring South Africa’s only goals on either side of the half-time break.

The South African team bowed out of the tournament with one victory behind their names after beating hosts South Korea 26-3 on Sunday.

The side’s 14th-place finish is their best in six appearances at the world championships and a marked improvement on the previous edition in 2017 where they placed 17th.

SA Swimming Team in Gwangju, Korea:


Alaric Basson, Michael Houlie, Chad le Clos, Aryton Sweeney, Bradley Tandy, Christopher Reid, Eben Vorster.


Emma Chelius, Kaylene Corbett, Dune Coetzee, Erin Gallagher Tayla Lovemore, Rebecca Meder, Tatjana Schoenmaker, Nathania van Niekerk, Mariella Venter.


For further information please contact:

Swimming South Africa

011 404 2480

Swimming South Africa is the governing body of aquatics in South Africa.

Its objective is to encourage the practice of aquatic disciplines for all in South Africa with the purpose of promoting swimming as a life skill through Learn To Swim programmes; providing healthy exercise to South Africans of all ages and races; recruiting recreational swimmers to compete in the various competitions; and promoting competition and athlete development to the highest level. Swimming South Africa is kindly supported by SASCOC, National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, Arena, Sport & Recreation SA and Rand Water.