Olympic Gold medalist Tatjana Schoenmaker was on Saturday night named the South African overall Sports Star of the Year following her record-setting feat at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Schoenmaker also won the Sportswoman of the Year, and in addition was one of three recipients of the Shield Of Jove.
The 24-year-old set a new world record of 2 minutes, 18.95 seconds to win gold medal in the Tokyo 2020 women’s 200-meter breaststroke. She beat the previous record set in 2013 by Dane Rikke Moller Pedersen who set a time of 2:19.11.
Still in Tokyo, Schoenmaker clocked a time of 1:05.22 to clinch Silver in the Women’s 100m breaststroke swimming competition.
“I always get the question ‘How much does your team contribute to your success?’ They don’t ‘contribute’, they are the reason for my success,” the swimmer wrote on Twitter after her wins.
What an incredible night at SA Sports Awards 😱🙏🏻
1. Had the best partner to celebrate it all with @fabienne_schoenmaker
2. Got a seat next to our very own @SiyaKolisi and his BEAUTIFUL wife @rachelkolisi 💕 (was so hard trying to play cool and not go crazy) 👀 pic.twitter.com/BNrf7UFptY
— Tatjana Schoenmaker (@TRSchoenmaker) March 13, 2022
Meanwhile, Springboks captain Siya Kolisi was named the People’s Choice Sports Star Of The Year.
He also accepted the Federation of the Year award on behalf of the South African Rugby Union.
The 30-year-old used the opportunity to call for gender equality in sports, urging male athletes to speak up for women to be accorded equal opportunities.
“It’s always awkward getting an individual award when playing a team sport, but thank you to all my coaches and teammates and to all who support me,” said Kolisi.
“Now, to all the men: Let’s talk about gender equality in sport. We (men) get all the money, but the women work has hard as we do. If we don’t speak up about it nothing will change. We (men) must use our platform to speak up for women,” he added.
Kolisi’s teammate Makazole Mapimpi was named the Sportsman of the Year, while the Springboks won Team of the Year award.
Springboks tactician Rassie Erasmus won the Coach of the Year award.