Tatjana Schoenmaker, University of Pretoria Student, Grabs Gold at Olympics

Higher Education Minister, Blade Nzimande, has congratulated University of Pretoria student, Tatjana Schoenmaker, for winning South Africa's first gold medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games on Friday. Schoenmaker won her medal in a record-breaking time of 2min 18.95sec.


Tatjana Schoenmaker, who attends the University of Pretoria (UP), received a pat on the back from the Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, for winning South Africa's first gold medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games on Friday.

Schoenmaker won the 200m women's breaststroke in a world record-breaking time of d 2min 18.95sec. 

In a statement issued by the Department of Higher Education, Nzimande commended Schoenmaker for her brilliant performance at the games.

Today our Post School Education and Training institutions are in the effort to contribute to student's socialization process by providing sports opportunities. These activities, which are a part of our education programmes, should be seen as activities that aim to develop students social and intellectual development, social awareness and nation-building.

The UP student is only the tenth person in the country to have won multiple medals at a single Olympics game. Schoenmaker is a TuksSport High School matriculant and TuksSwimming Academy graduate.

The statement also said that Schoenmaker is the "fourth since  South Africa readmission in the Olympic games, after Heyns, Schoeman (Athens 2004) and Chad le Clos (London 2012 and Rio 2016)".

She shared how grateful she felt about her performance and that she's still in disbelief that she won gold while breaking the world record at the same time:

Then in the last few strokes my eyes were closed and then I realised I actually touched first so I didn’t turn around yet. When I actually did turn around to see the time, I saw Lilly had swum a 2:19 and thought that’s such a good time, but then realised it wasn’t my time.

UP's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tawana Kupe, congratulated Schoenmaker and went on to say, "We wish all our athletes at Tokyo 2020 well" and that UP has contributed over 20 coaches, accolades and staff.

Minister Nzimande went on to thank the leadership of Athletics South Africa and the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa for the continued support given to the Olympic team.

RELATED: Schoenmaker Wins Gold in World Record Breaking Fashion At Olympics


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