Tuks swimmers impress during SA Swimming Champs

aquatics19 April 2023 09:48| © SuperSport
© Reg Caldecott

In one of his hits, the rock legend Meatloaf sang two out of three ain't bad. In light of this TuksSwim's head coach, Rocco Meiring, can justifiably claim that six out of 12 "ain't bad".

Six of the 12 swimmers who swam A-qualifying times during the South African Championships in Gqeberha are from Tuks.

Meiring hesitates to use the word ecstatic when asked how this came about.

"As a coach, I am more relieved that the swimmers peaked at the right time. It has been challenging, especially since they needed more opportunities to compete in the build-up to the national championships. You can train all you want, but it will never compensate for the lack of racing.

"This year, Tatjana (Schoenmaker) raced only once before SA's. It was in February in Lausanne, Switzerland. As for the rest of the Tuks swimmers who qualified, the last time they swam competitively was in early March."

Despite this, Schoenmaker's performances at the national champs were still impressive. She won the 200m breaststroke in 2:22.44, which is currently the second fastest time in the world. The Tuks swimmer won the 100m-breaststroke in 1:05.89. It is also the second fastest in the world.

Meiring ascribed Schoenmaker's performances to her being in good head space. According to him, there can be no shying away from Schoenmaker being one of the best in the world. She has, after all, swum a world record (2:18.95) during the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games. The record is still standing.

"What changed is Tatjana's focus."