Olympic swimmer Tatjana Schoenmaker made us, her vehicle sponsors, extremely proud by not only bringing home a gold medal from the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, but also setting a new world record in the process.
We appreciate her achievements even more because we know what it is like to put in more, try harder, and go further. That’s because, like her, we believe that effort pays off.
We're prouder than ever to be Tatjana’s vehicle sponsor, because we love being The GOOD Car Guys behind The Golden Swimming Girl.
After raking in multiple medals as a teenager at the 2015 African Games, she went on to reach the podium again by securing silver in the 200m breaststroke at the 2017 World Student Games. Reaffirming her talent in the 2018 season, at the age of 20, the breaststroke specialist became the first SA woman in eight years to earn a medal in the pool at the Commonwealth Games by bagging the 100m and 200m titles at the 2018 spectacle on Australia's Gold Coast. She also narrowly missed out on the bronze medal in the 50m breaststroke final, breaking the African records over all three distances.
Displaying further potential in the 25-metre pool, Schoenmaker went on to shine again later in the 2018 campaign, breaking the long-standing national 50m and 100m breaststroke records at the SA Short-Course Championships in Durban.
Having already been compared to former Olympic champion Penny Heyns, after removing all her esteemed compatriot's marks from the record books, Schoenmaker proved she was the real deal with another breakthrough season in 2019.
Returning to the World Student Games, she stormed to another impressive double, securing gold over the 100m and 200m distances at the university showpiece in Naples. Less than three weeks later she made history once more, becoming the first South African woman to earn a medal at the long-course World Championships by grabbing silver in the 200m breaststroke final in Gwangju. Back in the pool the following week, she rocketed to victory in the 100m and 200m finals at the opening leg of the 2019 Fina World Cup in Tokyo, setting a series record of 2:22.35 over the longer distance.
Following her success in the 2019 season, Schoenmaker's momentum took a knock the following season after the 2020 campaign was derailed by the Covid-19 pandemic. After a lengthy lockdown period which restricted her training, however, Schoenmaker emerged in style, bursting back to form in her first competitive outing. Turning out at the provincial trials for the SA Short-Course Championships, she completed the 200m breaststroke in 2:18.20 in Pretoria, shattering the 12-year African record held by Suzaan van Biljon.
Having developed into one of the country's brightest stars in the pool, Schoenmaker continues her rapid rise at global level and she has emerged as one of SA's biggest medal hopes ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.
In what could be considered a breakout meet, Schoenmaker won the 100 breast (1:06.41) and 200 breast (2:22.02) titles at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, setting African records in both events.
Schoenmaker was a double champion at the World University Games in July 2019, winning the 100 breast (1:06.42), after setting the South African national record (1:06.32) in the semifinals, and 200 breast (2:22.92).
Schoenmaker bested her own African record in the 200 breast in the event semifinals at the World Championships in Gwangju, Korea, on July 25. She was second in the semis behind defending champion Yuliya Efimova, clocking a 2:21.79.
Schoenmaker touched for 2nd in the final heat, earning her first world championship medal, a silver, in a time of 2:22.52.
For her silver medal at the world champs, Schoenmaker earned the African Female Swimmer of the Year Swammy Award.
An average day in Tatjana’s life: