Minister Nathi Mthethwa congratulates the first two South African medalists at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games

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27 Jul 2021

The Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture congratulated both Tatjana Schoenmaker and Bianca Buitendag for winning the country’s first silver medals at the Tokyo Olympics.

Tatjana collected a silver medal during the swimming 100m breaststroke, coming second to American, Lydia Jakoby. Whilst Bianca Buitendag collected silver in the women’s surfing finals, falling short to Carissa Moore who walked away with the Gold medal. Schoenmaker remains the first South African female swimmer to win an Olympic medal since Penny Heyns who collected bronze at the 2000 Olympic games.

After pocketing her silver medal, Schoenmaker said, “Walking out of the competition as the first silver medalist, I am hopeful will serve as a motivation for my country as we are currently going through difficult times.  I am hopeful that my win will serve as an inspiration to all South Africans that even if we are experiencing challenges, we can still succeed.”    

Another South African flying the flag high is Bianca Buitendag for winning the second silver during the Tokyo Olympics women surfing gold medal match. Bianca Buitendag remained the only participant at the Tokyo Olympics Surfing Competition currently not competing in the Surfing World Tour. Bianca managed to beat Yolanda Hopkins to advance to the finals.

Upon hearing the good news, Minister Mthethwa had this to say, “Congratulations to our first two silver medalists, who have done an exceptional job at elevating women’s sport on the globe. With the calibre of athletes representing South Africa at the 2020 Olympics, I am confident we will continue to make an impact. I wish the rest of the athletes all of the best and I certainly look forward to their participation”.

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