Swimming world in disbelief over never-before-seen feat at Olympics

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Pictured here, Tatjana Schoenmaker looks shocked after breaking the world record in the 200m breaststroke.
Tatjana Schoenmaker looked genuinely shocked to break the world record in Tokyo. Pic: Ch7/Getty

South African swimmer Tatjana Schoenmaker has left Olympic Games viewers in disbelief after a staggering effort to claim gold in the women's 200m breaststroke on Friday.

Schoenmaker smashed the long-standing world record after touching in 2min 18.95sec to better the 2:19.11 set by Denmark's Rikke Moller Pedersen in 2013.

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America's Lilly King was second in 2:19.92 with her team-mate and training partner Annie Lazor third in 2:20.84.

The 24-year-old Schoenmaker, who won silver in the 100m event, had signalled her intent by going close to the record in the heats and she made no mistake in the final.

King went out fast and turned first at both the 50m and 100m mark before Schoenmaker made her move, reeling in the American to touch first.

Seen here, Tatjana Schoenmaker with her gold medal at the Olympic Games.
Tatjana Schoenmaker poses here with her gold medal at the Olympic Games. Pic: Getty

It made her the first female South African to win an Olympic swimming gold since 1996, when Penny Heyns swept the women's 100 and 200 breaststroke.

The South African also has the incredible honour of being the first female in history to go under the 2.19.00 barrier.

The stunning display lit up social media as viewers reacted to the never-before-seen moment in Tokyo.

Emma Mckeon wins gold in new Olympic record

The records were tumbling in the pool on Friday in Tokyo, with Australia's Emma Mckeon also setting a new Olympic benchmark in the women's 100m freestyle final.

McKeon set a new Olympic record after touching in 51.96 seconds to claim gold ahead of Hong Kong's Siobhan Haughey (52.27) and Aussie compatriot Cate Campbell (52.52).

There were moving scenes after the race as Campbell could be heard in the pool telling McKeon, "I'm so proud of you," before hugging her fellow Aussie.

The 27-year-old led from start to finish: she was first off the blocks in a reaction time a tenth of a second quicker than any rival.

McKeon led at the halfway stage and maintained her dominance until the wall.

The Australian collects her fourth gold of the Games and is threatening the Australian record for most medals at a single Olympics.

McKeon, with a pair of bronzes in the 100m butterfly and 4x200m freestyle relay, is also favourite for the 50m freestyle - heats in that sprint are contested Friday night.

And McKeon is likely to feature when Australia contends for a 4x100m mixed medley medal, which could give her a record sixth medal of the Games.

Cate Campbell was the first to congratulate Aussie rival Emma McKeon on her gold medal. Pic: Getty
Cate Campbell was the first to congratulate Aussie rival Emma McKeon on her gold medal. Pic: Getty

Swim legends Gould and Thorpe hold the Australian record for the most medals at one Games with five each.

Thorpe won three gold and two silver in the Sydney 2000 Games while Gould collected three gold, one silver and a bronze at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

And should McKeon win six medals, her Olympic career total of nine will equal Thorpe's record for most by an Australian.

with agencies

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