Written by Andre Viljoen
Adapted from the original story in Faithwire
South African swimmer Tatjana Schoenmaker today claimed SA’s first gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics as she won the women’s 200m breaststroke final on Friday, smashing the world record in the process.
Swimming in lane 4, the 24-year-old swimming star timed her race perfectly, sitting behind American Lilly King for the first 100m before surging over the last 100m. She touched the wall at 2:18.95 beating the previous record of 2:19.11 set by Denmark’s Rikke Moller Pedersen at the World Championships in 2013.
Schoenmaker who also set Olympic records in the 100m and 200m breaststroke during the heats and took silver in the 100m breaststroke earlier this week has been using her success to point others to God.
In all her competitions in Tokyo, Schoenmaker has worn — under her green South Africa swim cap — another cap proclaiming her faith.
The white Speedo cap the athlete is wearing features a blue Jesus fish under the phrase “Soli Deo Gloria,” which means “Glory to God alone,” printed on the side of it.
Schoenmaker today became the first South African woman swimmer to win an Olympic gold medal since Penny Heyns — another bold ambassador for Jesus — at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.
Her win takes Team SA’s medal tally in Tokyo to three. In addition to her two medals, surfer Bianca Buitendag also won a silver medal on Tuesday. Buitendag, who was only ranked 17 out of 20 before the event also acknowledged God during an interview on the podium.
In an Instagram post last week, Schoenmaker posted a prayer as she traveled to Tokyo for the summer Olympic Games.
“Father God, may Your will be done, may Your peace fill us up, may we praise You no matter what the outcome, may we be empowered by Your strength to give our all and may we forever be in awe of Your goodness!” she wrote. “Thank You for bringing us to this very moment.