Thursday, 29 July 2021 09:18

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

South African swimming duo Tatjana Schoenmaker and Kaylene Corbett have advanced to the women's 200m breaststroke final at the Tokyo Olympics after winning their semi-finals this morning.

The final, which takes place at 03:41 (SA time) on Friday, will see Schoenmaker start as comfortably the fastest qualifer from the semi-finals while Corbett qualified 4th fastest. 

Schoenmaker and Corbett are training partners at Tuks in Pretoria.

While all eyes are on Schoenmaker and her efforts to bag a first gold medal for South Africa in Tokyo, it was Corbett up first on Thursday as she finished strong in her semi-final to win in a time of 2:22.08 with America's Lilly King (2:22.27) second. 

Schoenmaker, who had set a new Olympic record in the heats on Wednesday, then obliterated the field once more in her semi-final, coming home first in 2:19.33.

Schoenmaker, who is competing in her first Olympic Games, claimed the country's first medal on Tuesday as she won silver in the women's 100m breaststroke.

The other South African in the pool on Thursday morning, 18-year-old Matthew Sates, made a strong start to the men’s 200m individual medley semi-final, turning in second place after the first 50m.

But he wasn’t able to maintain that pace, and finished last in 1:58.75.

Women’s 200m breaststroke semi-final 1

1 Kaylene Corbett (RSA) 2:22.08

2 Lilly King (USA) 2:22.27

3 Molly Renshaw (GB) 2:22.70

4 Sophie Hansson (Sweden) 2:24.28

5 Jingyao Yu (China) 2:24.76

6 Jessica Vall Montero (Spain) 2:24.87

7 Lisa Mamie (Switzerland) 2:25.11

DSQ: Kelsey Lauren Wog (Canada)

Women’s 200m breaststroke semi-final 2

1 Tatjana Schoenmaker (RSA) 2:19.33

2 Evgeniia Chikunova (ROC) 2:20.57

3 Annie Lazor (USA) 2:21.94

4 Abbie Wood (GB) 2:22.35

5 Fanny Lecluyse (Belgium) 2:23.73

6 Jenna Strauch (Australia) 2:24.25

7 Mariia Temnikova (ROC) 2:24.69

8 Francesca Fangio (Italy) 2:27.56.