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Tokyo Olympics: Ramaphosa commends S/Africa’s golden girl Schoenmaker

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has congratulated Olympic gold medallist Tatjana Schoenmaker for smashing the world record at the Tokyo…

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has congratulated Olympic gold medallist Tatjana Schoenmaker for smashing the world record at the Tokyo Olympics in the women’s 200m breaststroke.Schoenmaker, aged 24, smashed the 2:19.11 world record held by Denmark’s Rikke Moller Pedersen since 2013, clocking 2:18:95 as the first individual world record of this tournament – and she is the first South African to do so in 21 years.

During a four-minute phone call, Ramaphosa said: “Well, Tatjana, congratulations. You have lifted the country. We are in a good mood, and we want to congratulate you for your unbelievable effort.” 

He added: “When I saw your performance in the first race, the other one where you took silver, I knew that you were keeping something in store.”

Responding to the call, Schoenmaker said: “Hello, Mr. President. I am glad you believed in me.”

Ramaphosa said: “I did. Thank you so much. It was just so unbelievable. You have done this for the country as well as for yourself. We honour you and thank you.”

“We are really delighted to have seen this unbelievable performance — a world record. You smashed it,” he added.

Ramaphosa also congratulated Schoenmaker’s coach Rocco Meiring.

“Well done. I congratulate you, too, because you have done unbelievable work in preparing Tatjana to be at the level she is.”

He added: “To have won an Olympic gold medal and to have smashed the world record is just unbelievable. So, congratulations to you, too. You have done a fantastic job.”

Schoenmaker returns home on Sunday.

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