South African Tatjana Schoenmaker Breaks First Individual Swimming World Record At Olympics

By Sharon Robb
TOKYO, Japan, July 29, 2021–An emotionally-charged Tatjana Schoenmaker broke the first individual world record in swimming Thursday at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

The 24-year-old South African set a blistering pace in the final 50 meters of the 200-meter breaststroke to win in a world record time of 2:18.95. The previous world record of 2:19.11 was held by Rikke Moller of Denmark since 2013.

It was the first gold medal won by a South African woman since 1996 and first gold of the Olympics for any South African athlete. Schoenmaker also won silver in the 100-meter breaststroke.

American training partners and good friends Lily King and Annie Lazer finished second and third. King took silver in a breakthrough swim of 2:19.92 and Lazor the bronze in 2:20.84.

“I wouldn’t have done that if she wasn’t next to me,” King said of Lazor. “This is what we were working for.”

King led until the 150-meter turn when Schoenmaker turned on the after jets to touch the wall first.

“My love for swimming makes me want to get up every morning and go to training,” Schoenmaker said. “It’s like my second home. Being fortunate enough to travel the world doing what I love, seeing new places and meeting new people and sports heroes, motivates me a lot. The most important thing every young swimmer should realize is that nothing is impossible. They only need to believe and be prepared to put in the long and hard hours.”

Local swimmers results:

Plantation American Heritage alum Dylan Carter of Trinidad & Tobago was second in his 100 butterfly heat in 52.36.

Azura’s Abbas Qali of Kuwait, fourth in his 100 butterfly heat in 53.62.

Azura’s Steven Aimable, fifth in his 100 butterfly heat in 53.64.

Azura’s Davidson Vincent of Haiti finished tied for seventh in his 100 butterfly in 54.81.

Qali, Aimable and Vincent all swam in the same heat.

Azura’s Celina Marquez of El Salvador was second in her 200 backstroke heat in 2:14.72.

In other championship medal finals:

Men’s 200-meter backstroke: Russian Evgeny Rylov became the seventh man to win both backstroke events in a single Olympics. He won in an Olympic record 1:53.27. Defending gold medalist and Bolles alum Ryan Murphy took silver in 1:54.15. Luke Greenbank of Great Britain took third in 1:54.72. The U.S. men had won seven consecutive gold medals in the event. “I put myself in a lot of pain,” Murphy said. “I just ran into a very good guy from Russia.”

Women’s 100-meter freestyle: The Aussies took first and third in the event. Emma McKeon, 27, won her first individual gold medal in an Olympic record 51.96 and teammate Cate Campbell was third in 52.52. Siobhan Haughey of Hong Kong took the silver in 52.27.

Men’s 200-meter individual medley: Underdog Shun Wang, 27, of China won the gold in an Asian record 1:55.00. Favorite Duncan Scott of Great Britain took silver in 1:55.28 and Jeremy Desplanches of Switzerland won the bronze in 1:56.17. American Michael Andrew, the early leader, faltered in the last 50 and finished a disappointing fifth in 1:57.31.


200-meter breaststroke: 1. Tatjana Schoenmaker, RSA 2:18.95, WR, OR 2. Lilly King, US 2:19.92, 3. Annie Lazor, US 2:20.84.

100-meter freestyle: 1. Emma McKeon, AUS 51.96, OR, 2. Siobhan Haughey, HKG 52.27, AS, 3. Cate Campbell, AUS 52.52.

200-meter backstroke: 1. Evgeny Rylov, ROC 1:53.27, OR, 2. Ryan Murphy, US 1:54.15, 3. Luke Greenbank, GB 1:54.72.

200-meter individual medley: 1. Shun Wang, CHN 1:55.00, 2. Duncan Scott, GBR 1:55.28, 3. Jeremy Desplanches, SUI 1:56.17.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Gabriella DeLuna Top FGC Finisher At Southern Zones Age Group Championships

By Sharon Robb
TUPELO, Miss., July 29, 2021—Gabriella DeLuna was top Florida Gold Coast finisher Thursday at the USA Swimming Southern Zones Age Group Championships at Tupelo Aquatic Center.

DeLuna, 14, was fifth in the 400-meter individual medley in 5:17.01. She qualified fifth in prelims in 5:16.78.

DeLuna was also 14th in the 200-meter backstroke prelims in 2:29.34. She was also a member of the seventh place 400-meter freestyle relay. DeLuna has the 100 backstroke, 100 breaststroke and 200 IM left to swim.

SOFLO teammate Izzy Wilson, 14, was 21st in the 200-meter backstroke in a best time 2:32.76, a time drop 0.21. She has the 400 freestyle and 200 butterfly remaining.

Nicholas Pelaez, 14, was 40th in the 100 freestyle in a best time of 1:00.13, dropping 0.79. He was also 23rd in the 400 IM in a best time of 5:18.74, a time drop 1.31. He has the 400 freestyle and 200 butterfly remaining.

North Carolina leads the combined, boys and girls team standings. Florida Gold Coast, coached by Jennifer Gibson of Swim Fort Lauderdale and Rodrigo Mendes of Midtown Weston, is eighth in combined, 12th among boys and seventh among girls teams.

FGC’s 11-12 girls team: Alera Hurwitz, St. Andrew’s; Natalie Dufflocq, North Palm Beach; Maria Perez, Midtown Weston; and Emma Han, Wahoos of Wellington. There is no boys’ 11-12 team.

FGC’s 13-14 girls’ team: Izzy Wilson, SOFLO; Gabriella DeLuna, SOFLO; Reese Andres, St. Andrew’s; Samantha Schoenborn, St. Andrew’s; Sidney Anton, Pine Crest; Reese Rosenthal, Gulliver Swim Club; Abbie Sargent, Florida Keys Swim Club; and Sara Miller, St. Andrew’s.

FGC’s 13-14 boys’ team: Nicholas Pelaez, SOFLO; Dylan Ferguson, Metro Aquatics; Nahuel Balade, Ransom Everglades; Lucas Franchak, Hurricanes; and Andy Serrano-Pena of Ransom Everglades.

The five-day meet continues Friday with prelims at 10 a.m. and finals at 6:30 p.m.

1. North Carolina 592, 2. Florida Swimming 542.5, 3. Team Georgia 402.5, 4. South Carolina 300.5, 5. South Texas 237, 8. Florida Gold Coast 45.

BOYS TEAM TOTALS: 1. North Carolina 286.5, 2. Florida Swimming 253.5, 3. Team Georgia 194.5, 4. South Texas 138, 5. South Carolina 87, 12. Florida Gold Coast 7.

GIRLS TEAM TOTALS: 1. North Carolina 255.5, 2. Florida Swimming 253, 3. South Carolina 191.5, 4. Team Georgia 180, 5. Southeastern Swimming 109, 7. Florida Gold Coast 38.

200-meter backstroke:
13-14, 1. Hattie Wasmuth, GA 2:21.83; 15-18, 1. Danka Ndubuisi, SC 2:23.44.

Mixed 50-meter backstroke:
Mixed 11-12, 1. Seb Jaramillo, GA 33.23; 11-12, 1. Janae Sanders, FL 32.36.

100-meter freestyle:
11-12, 1. Peyton Williams, SES 59.76; 13-14, 1. Lilly Gault Abdella, SC 58.37; 15-18, 1. Isabella Ekk, FL 58.06; Mixed, 1. Seb Jaramillo, GA 1:04.63.

400-meter individual medley: 13-14, 1. Sophie McCammon 5:07.70; FGC: 5. Gabriella DeLuna 5:17.01, 7. Sam Schoenborn 5:21.81; 15-18, 1. Emily McMahan, SC 5:16.26.

400-meter freestyle relay: 11-12, 1. North Carolina 4:08.01, 6. Florida Gold Coast 4:21.16 (Maria Perez, Emma Han, Natalie Dufflocq, Alera Hurwitz); 13-14, 1. Team Georgia 4:00.13, 7. FGC 4:15.90 (Abbie Sargent, Sam Schoenborn, Gabriella DeLuna, Sidney Anton); 15-18, 1. South Carolina 3:59.38.

200-meter backstroke: 13-14, 1. Abhay Tharakan, NCS 2:09.74; FGC: 6. Any Serrano-Pena 2:15.45;15-18, 1. Collin Davis, NCS 2:09.99.

50-meter backstroke: 11-12, 1. Owen Ekk, FL 30.14.

100-meter freestyle: 11-12, 1. Owen Ekk, FL 55.77; 13-14, 1. Oliver Rowe, STX 52.57; 15-18, 1. Collin Davis, NCS 53.51.

400-meter individual medley: 13-14, 1. Baylor Stanton, GA 4:42.27; 15-18, 1. Charles Heisig, NCS 4:46.01.

400-meter freestyle relay: 11-12, 1. Florida Swimming 3:54.80; 13-14, 1. North Carolina 3:37.28, FGC, DQ; 15-18, 1. Team Georgia 3:36.97.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Dominic Bono Makes Top 20 On Day Two Of USA Swimming Futures Championships

By Sharon Robb
HUNTSVILLE, Ala., July 29, 2021—Dominic Bono was South Florida Aquatic Club’s top finisher on Day Two of the USA Swimming Futures Championships Thursday at Huntsville Aquatics Center.

Bono, 18, was 20th in the 400-meter individual medley in 4:37.36. In morning prelims he went a best time 4:34.61 for a time drop of 3.51. His previous best was 4:38.12.

SOFLO’s Javier Colmenares, 15, did a 100-meter freestyle time trials in 56.92 for 19th place.

The top Florida Gold Coast finisher was University of Miami’s Aino Otava of Finland, 16th in the 400-meter individual medley in 5:03.19.

Atlanta-based Dynamo Swim Club leads the combined (462), men (188) and women (274) team standings.

An estimated 1,000 swimmers are competing. The Aquatic Center has two Olympic-size pools with 1,400 seats.

The meet continues Friday with prelims at 10 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m. The four-day meet ends on Saturday.

1. Dynamo 406, 2. TAC Titans 316.5, 3. Club Wolverine 156.5, 4. Bolles 126, 5. Blue Dolfins 96.

MEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. Dynamo 188, 2. Bolles 124, 3. TAC Titans 115, 4. Lakeside 59, 5. Club Wolverine 54.

WOMEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. Dynamo 218, 2. TAC Titans 201.5, 3. Club Wolverine 102.5, 4. Y-Spartaquatics 85, 5. Blue Dolfins 78, 14. Hurricane Aquatics 16.

100-meter freestyle: 1. Ella Welch, CARD 55.55, 2. Gretchen Walsh, NAC 55.74, 3. Kirsti McEnroe, YSSC 56.59.

400-meter individual medley: 1. Elizabeth Tilt, GOLD 4:51.61, 2. Lily Ann Willis, TAC 4:52.91, 3. Keelan Cotter, TAC 4:55.57; FGC: 16. Aino Otava, CANE 5:03.19.

100-meter backstroke: 1. Ryenne Ulett, DYN 1:01.94, 2. Catherine Choate 1:02.04, 3. Kyla Maloney, DYN 1:03.27.

800-meter freestyle relay: 1. Gator Swim Club 8:08.99, 2. Irish Aquatics 8:12.53, 3. TAC Titans 8:16.73.

100-meter freestyle: 1. Macguire McDuff, BSS 50.98, 2. Chance Tirheimer, TBAY 51.31, 3. William Thompson, TAC 51.43.

400-meter individual medley: 1. Peter Meng, DYN 4:35.38, 2. Stuart Higdon, ATAC 4:35.72, 3. Samuel Kohm, TAC 4:37.02; SOFLO: 4. Dominic Bono 4:37.36, time drop 3.51.

100-meter backstroke: 1. Nathaniel Stoffle, SPAC 55.28, 2. Andrew Simmons, DYN 56.46, 3. William Thompson, TAC 56.70.

800-meter freestyle relay: 1. Dynamo A 7:31.11, 2. TAC Titans 7:33.08, 3. Dynamo B 7:43.46.

Sharon Robb can be reached at