Teenager Lara van Niekerk dethroned Tatjana Schoenmaker as the Commonwealth Games 100m breaststroke champion on Tuesday night, but the duo still gave SA an historic golden-silver feast in Birmingham.
Van Niekerk, the 50m breaststroke champion, was the first into the wall, and the question was whether she would have the endurance to hold off Olympic queen Schoenmaker, the 200m breaststroke champion, on the second lap.
But she torpedoed across the pool to touch first in a 1min 05.47sec personal best. Schoenmaker, owner of the 1:04.82 Olympic record, was second in 1:06.68.
Australian Chelsea Hodges was third in 1:07.05 and the third SA swimmer in the race, Kaylene Corbett, was seventh.
Perhaps the most exciting part of Van Niekerk’s triumph is that she now joins an elite group of SA swimmers to have won two golds at a single Games — Schoenmaker, Chad Le Clos, Cameron van der Burgh and Roland Schoeman.
All of them went on to win multiple Olympic medals.