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Tatjana SCHOENMAKER
Sport Swimming
NOC South Africa   
GenderWomen
Born09 Jul 1997 in Johannesburg, RSA
 Human Interest 
Further Personal Information
Family
Partner Ruan Ras
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
English
Higher education
Finance - University of Pretoria: South Africa
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
She began swimming at age five and started competing at age eight. She initially combined swimming with other sports, but began to focus on swimming towards the end of high school. "I had my first competition at age eight and won the 25m butterfly, from there my parents decided that swimming was for me and that I had a talent for it."
Why this sport?
She began swimming for water safety reasons, and her talent for the sport was quickly recognised. "My love for swimming makes me want to get up every morning and go to training. It's like my second home. Being fortunate enough to travel the world doing what I love, seeing new places and meeting new people and sports heroes, motivates me a lot. The most important thing every young swimmer should realise is that nothing is impossible. They only need to believe and be prepared to put in the long and hard hours."
Club / Team
Tuks Swimming: Pretoria, RSA
Name of coach
Rocco Meiring [club], RSA; Graham Hill [national], RSA
General Interest
Hobbies
Spending time with friends and family. (speedo.co.za, 01 Jan 2021)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning two gold medals at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, QLD, Australia. (speedo.co.za, 01 Jan 2021)
Hero / Idol
South African swimmers Penelope Heyns and Chad le Clos, US swimmer Michael Phelps, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt. (thislifeonline.co.za, 30 Oct 2019)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
"I have a bit of a ritual where I just jump a bit and do quite a high jump touching my toes, twisting my back a little, the usual swimmer slapping routine." (vssports.co.za, 22 Jun 2020)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Focus on one's own improvement and own goals rather than comparing oneself to others. If you're constantly improving, you'll eventually get to the top. For me it was always about improving my time." (media.ford.com, 14 Aug 2020)
Awards and honours
In 2021 she received Swimming World magazine's Female World Record of the Year award, which recognised her performance in the 200m breaststroke final at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. She was also named Swimming World's 2021 African Female Swimmer of the Year. (swimmingworldmagazine.com, 29 Dec 2021, 26 Dec 2021)

She was named African Female Swimmer of the Year by swimming website SwimSwam in its 2019, 2020 and 2021 Swammy Awards. (swimswam.com, 22 Dec 2021, 15 Dec 2020, 26 Dec 2019)

In 2019 she was named Sports Star of the Year and Sportswoman of the Year at the South African Sport Awards. (swimswam.com, 12 Nov 2019)

She was named Newcomer of the Year at the 2018 South African Sport Awards. (thislifeonline.co.za, 30 Oct 2019)
Milestones
She became the first female South African swimmer to win a medal at the world championships, when she claimed silver in the 200m breaststroke at the 2019 edition of the tournament in Gwangju, Republic of Korea. (swimmingworldmagazine.com, 25 Sep 2020; SportsDeskOnline, 18 Nov 2020)
Famous relatives
Her partner Ruan Ras has represented South Africa in swimming at World Cup events. (Instagram profile, 14 Feb 2021; Ruan Ras Instagram profile, 25 Apr 2021; SportsDeskOnline, 11 May 2021)
Other information
FOUNDATION
In 2021 she launched the Tatjana Foundation. She said the foundation would aim to improve access to water safety and swimming lessons in South Africa. "I think for now it'll be paying for the swimming lessons and stuff like that. At the beginning, I won't be as involved physically because I'm still swimming and I have a career. But that's why I want to get it started now so I can already make a difference. Then when I'm done with swimming, I'll be able to be all hands on deck and really be part of it. Not to just be the face in the background but to be there and help them as well." (swimmingworldmagazine.com, 27 Oct 2021; tatjanaschoenmaker.com, 01 Sep 2021)

 Competition Highlights
Olympic Games
Rank Year Venue Event Result
2 2021 Tokyo, JPN 100m Breaststroke 1:05.22
1 2021 Tokyo, JPN 200m Breaststroke 2:18.95
14 2021 Tokyo, JPN 4 x 100m Medley Relay 4:03.02
World Championships
Rank Year Venue Event Result
2 2019 Gwangju, KOR 200m Breaststroke 2:22.52
Heats 2019 Gwangju, KOR 50m Breaststroke 31.40
6 2019 Gwangju, KOR 100m Breaststroke 1:06.60
Heats 2019 Gwangju, KOR 4 x 100m Medley Relay  
Heats 2019 Gwangju, KOR 4 x 100m Medley Relay  
World Championships Short Course
Rank Year Venue Event Result
Heats 2014 Doha, QAT 100m Breaststroke 1:08.62
Heats 2014 Doha, QAT 200m Breaststroke 2:28.25
Heats 2014 Doha, QAT 50m Breaststroke 31.79
Heats 2014 Doha, QAT 200m Individual Medley 2:23.83
Heats 2014 Doha, QAT 4 x 50m Medley Relay 1:52.16
Heats 2014 Doha, QAT 4 x 100m Medley Relay 4:10.52
World Cup
Rank Year Venue Event Result
1 2019 Tokyo, JPN 200m Breaststroke 2:22.35
1 2019 Tokyo, JPN 100m Breaststroke 1:06.54
40 2014   Overall  
3 2014 Hong Kong, CHN 100m Breaststroke 1:08.07
5 2014 Hong Kong, CHN 200m Individual Medley 2:18.74
3 2014 Hong Kong, CHN 200m Breaststroke 2:26.51
4 2014 Hong Kong, CHN 50m Breaststroke 31.97