Schoenmaker and Corbett Cruise Through to Finals on Day 6 of Tokyo Olympics
Schoenmaker and Corbett Cruise Through to Finals on Day 6 of Tokyo Olympics. Photo: Twitter / Penny Heyns

Tatjana Schoenmaker and Kaylene Corbett both won their women’s 200m breaststroke semi-finals at the Olympics in Tokyo on Thursday to clinch their spots in the final on Friday… making it the first time since 2000 that South Africa has had two swimmers in any Olympic Final!

Former SA Olympic swimmer Penny Heyns said: “Well done girls!! First time RSA has 2 swimmers in any Olympic Final since 2000 …. Definitely in the case of the ladies ? Congrats coach Rocco ?”

The two SA swimmers are 1st and 4th fastest heading into Friday’s final (scheduled for 03h41 SA time!).

Schoenmaker (24) finished her heat in a time of 2:19.33, after breaking yet another Olympic record in her 200m heat on Wednesday (2:19.15), just 0.05 seconds of the world record! A few days ago Schoenmaker unexpectedly broke an Olympic record in her heat for the 100m breaststroke… and went on to win SA’s first Silver medal in the final. On Friday she’s the favourite and will be aiming for Gold. 

Tatjana Schoenmaker Olympics
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Swimming – Women’s 200m Breaststroke – Semifinal 2 – Tokyo Aquatics Centre – Tokyo, Japan – July 29, 2021. Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa reacts REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Corbett finished in a time of 2:22.08, a personal best for the 22-year-old. According to Sport24 the two women are training partners at Tuks in Pretoria.

Kaylene Corbett Olympic swimmer South Africa
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Swimming – Women’s 200m Breaststroke – Semifinal 1 – Tokyo Aquatics Centre – Tokyo, Japan – July 29, 2021. Kaylene Corbett of South Africa reacts REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

After today’s races, Penny Heyns tweeted a photo of an exhausted leopard in a tree and said: “Me at the end of each day after watching and becoming emotionally invested in every women’s Breaststroke race here at Tokyo2020. So exciting. Am so proud of both you girls making it into tomorrow’s Final.”

Team SA at the Tokyo Olympics on Day 6

The men’s hockey team beat Germany 4-3 in a thrilling Pool B match. Team SA were represented across six different codes in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on Thursday. This is how they fared:

Men’s BMX, quarter-finals: 
Alex Limberg finished 6th in his heat over three runs, with his best being his final effort. He scored 18 points and failed to reach the semi-finals There were four heats of six riders. Those ranked 1st to 4th in each heat qualified for the semi-finals

Men’s first round: Christiaan Bezuidenhout shot an opening round 3-under par 68 to sit five strokes behind early leader Sepp Straka (63) in the men’s golf competition. Belgium’s Thomas Pieters and Mexico’s Carlos Ortiz were two back on 65. Garrick Higgo was 1-under par through 14 holes when lightning forced the suspension of play

Men’s pool B: South Africa 4 Germany 3: Mustaphaa Cassiem scored the winner in the 48th minute as South Africa came from behind to win. Germany had gone ahead in the 8th minute before Matthew Guise-Brown struck from a penalty corner in the 9th minute and Craig Keenan put SA 2-1 up in the 13th minute. But goals in the 22nd and 24th minute edged Germany ahead in the game, 3-2. Nic Spooner levelled matters in the 45th minute before Cassiem struck three minutes later.

Women’s breaststroke, semi-final: Kaylene Corbett produced her second personal best inside 24 hours by winning her  semi-final with a blistering final 50m, touching the wall in 2:22.08

Women’s breaststroke, semi-final: Tatjana Schoenmaker won her 200m breaststroke semi-final in 2:19.33 to qualify fastest for Friday’s final. She is over 1 second quicker than any other finalist

Men’s 200m Individual Medley, semi-final: Matthew Sates, who turned 18 yesterday, finished 8th in his semi-final in 1:58.75. That left him in 14th spot overall and he was unable to qualify for Friday’s final

Men’s Group A. Hungary 23 South Africa 1: South Africa were up against in when they took on gold medal favourites Hungary. South Africa had to wait until the fourth quarter to score their only goal of the match, through Nicholas Rodda. The end of quarter scores shows Hungary’s total domination: 4-0, 9-0, 17-0, 23-1


Men’s Skiff, 49ers, races 5 and 6: Benji Daniel and Alex Burger

Men’s One Person Dinghy (Heavyweight), races 5 and 6: Leo Davis


Men’s 100m Butterfly, Heats –7.54pm (12.54pm): Matthew Sates
Men’s 100m Butterfly, Heats –7.56pm (12.56pm): Chad le Clos

Source: TeamSA

How to watch the Olympics if you’re in South Africa

You can watch all the key moments from the Olympics online at or on your phone using the Showmax app, plus score an additional free month when you sign up for Showmax Pro before 31 August. (To claim your free month, go to to subscribe or upgrade. That’s it, you’re all set!)