Tatjana Schoenmaker, who was considered one of South Africa’s most realistic medal candidates at the 2020 Tokyo Games, says that while the postponement of the Olympics is a disappointment, it was also necessary.
‘It is a decision that was needed to be made as people’s lives are at risk due to the worldwide coronavirus,’ said the Tuks breaststroke swimmer.
‘From a personal perspective, the cancellation is a let-down. For 15 years it has been my dream to compete at an Olympic Games. 2020 would have been it. But then again, what difference is another year going to make? It gives me more time to improve my swimming skills. I got a fantastic team supporting me, which means postponing my programme with a year ought not to be a problem.’
According to Schoenmaker, the last few weeks had been difficult for athletes as everyone was unsure as to whether the Olympic Games were going to happen.
‘The reality is with South Africa being in lockdown from midnight tomorrow, I am not sure if it would have been possible to continue to train.’
Schoenmaker, who exploded onto the international scene with a series of dominant performances at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, says her biggest wish for everyone is to stay safe and healthy in these uncertain times.