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Schoenmaker wins SASOL Emerging Athlete Award


South African swimmer and University of Pretoria’s golden girl, Tatjana Schoenmaker won the SASOL Emerging Athlete of the Year Award during the Gsport4girls Awards at the Wanderers Club on Friday evening.

It was Schoenmaker’s first appearance at the Gsport4girls Awards having been nominated for both Emerging Athlete of the Year and Athlete of the Year Awards. This came after she clinched double gold in the women’s 100m and 200m breaststroke at the 2018 Commonwealth Games earlier this year. She received the award with great pleasure and dedicated it to all the women swimmers throughout South Africa.

“I feel truly flattered to be nominated alongside the likes of Caster Semenya and Kgothatso Montjane who are such strong women for the Athlete of the Year Award, being a finalist in this category meant a lot to me. Winning the Emerging Athlete of the Year Award was an even greater honor for me,” she said with a beaming smile.

Last year, Schoenmaker bagged a silver medal for South Africa in the 200m breaststroke at the World Student Games and has reached new levels since. The 24-year-old initially started with water safety and was quickly recognized for her swimming talents and took the decision to compete professionally. Schoenmakerhas been swimming for 13 years now and continues to train hard, proving toreally be one to look out for in the future.

Her greatest memories come from competing for her country at the Commonwealth and World Student Games, “I feel honored representing the country, when the national anthem played at my medal ceremonies my eyes were filled with tears of pride and having my family there was extra special,” she recalled. One of her goals is to compete at the Olympics with hopes of adding Olympic medalist to her growing list of accolades.

Her words of encouragement to other aspiring women swimmers is to focus on your own race. “It is always hard; you tend to compare yourself to where someone else is at the moment but it takes time. Focusing on your own individual improvements can only help you be the best one day,” Schoenmaker reiterated.



Posted by Kimara Singh on 02 Sep, 2018.
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