The South African star swimmer’s emotions are “indescribable” as she has broken an eight-year world record to be the winner of the Olympics 200m breaststroke final on Friday.
set a new record in Tokyo as she grabbed the first Olympic gold medal for Team South Africa this year.
Notwithstanding being challenged by American duo Lily King (2:19.92) and Annie Lazor (2:20.84), the 24-year-old was faster in touching the wall and set a record of 2:18.95.
Not long after the race, Schoenmaker received her Olympic gold medal while the South African anthem was playing at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.
she said, clutching her medal.
"It really hasn't sunk in yet. The whole process went really quick. It'll probably kick in when I get home."
She broke Denmark’s
Rikke Moller Pedersen
’s world record, which was set in 2013 in Barcelona.
The South African was shocked to have broken the record of 2:19.
When I first saw my time, I saw 2:19 [King's time on the electronic scoreboard], and didn't know that wasn't my time,"
said the Tuks University student.
"2:19 has been in the record books for so long. I'm just really grateful."
"She definitely pushed me. I think it was just amazing knowing that you're able to race against the world's best. It couldn't have been a better race and it was tough," said Schoenmaker.
"My first 100m isn't always that fast, so I literally just focused on my own stroke and when we got to the last turn, it was anyone's race.
"Whether I came first or last, I would have been able to walk out and know that I gave it my all.
"Everyone in that final swam a great race. Whether I came first or second, I knew I could walk away with a smile on my face."