Tatjana Schoenmaker won the women's 200-meter breaststroke with a time of 2 minutes, 18.95 seconds, breaking the mark of 2:19.11 set by Denmark's Rikke Moller Pedersen in 2013
Tokyo: South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker was the star of the day, setting the first individual swimming world record at the Tokyo Olympics. Others shined, too.
Evgeny Rylov completed a backstroke double for Russia, Emma McKeon gave the Aussie women another gold, and China earned a return trip to the top of the medal podium.
The mighty Americans? For the first time in the meet, they spent the entire session Friday watching others win gold. Schoenmaker, a 24-year-old South African, won the women’s 200-meter breaststroke with a time of 2 minutes, 18.95 seconds, breaking the mark of 2:19.11 set by Denmark’s Rikke Moller Pedersen at the 2013 world championships in Barcelona.
It was the third world record at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, with the first two coming in women’s relays. “I wasn’t expecting that at all,” said Schoenmaker, who added to her silver in the 100 breast. Rylov thoroughly snuffed out America’s dominance in the backstroke, adding the 200 title to his victory in the 100 back. Rylov won with an Olympic-record time of 1:53.29, while American Ryan Murphy wound up with the silver (1:54.15).
Murphy was a double-gold medalist at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where he extended an American winning streak that began at the 1996 Atlanta Games. The US won 12 straight men’s backstroke events over six Olympics, but that streak ended with Rylov’s victory in the 100. He made it 2-for-2 in the longer race, while Murphy settled for bronze and silver in the two events. Britain’s Luke Greenbank grabbed the 200 bronze in 1:54.72.
McKeon touched first in the 100 freestyle with an Olympic-record time of 51.96, becoming only the second woman to break 52 seconds in the sprint. Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey earned the silver in 52.27, while another Aussie, Cate Campbell, took the bronze in 52.52. American Abbey Weitzeil was last in the eight-woman field.
The Australians have won four individual women’s events at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, in addition to setting a world record in a 4×100 free relay that included both McKeon and Campbell. The team from Down Under has six golds overall, tied with the Americans, though the US has the lead in the overall medal count. The Americans won three medals Friday, also claiming the other two spots on the podium behind Schoenmaker.
A day after winning its first two golds at the pool, China picked up another victory when Wang Shun touched first in the men’s 200 individual medley.