South African swimmer Tatjana Schoenmaker won gold in the 200m breaststroke at the Olympics on Friday by breaking an eight-year-old world record.

The 24-year-old Shoemaker immediately raised her arm after tapping it to celebrate her victory.

When she turned around and looked at the scoreboard, she was surprised to see that she had swum a world record with 2.18.95.

Since 2013, the world record in the 200-meter breaststroke has been held by Danish Rikke Møller Pedersen with 2.19.11.

Schoenmaker previously took silver in the 100-meter breaststroke in Tokyo.

Improving the world record brought tears of joy to Schoenmaker, who was joined on the podium at the Tokyo Aquatics Center by American swimmers Lilly King (silver in 2.19.92) and Annie Lazor (2.20.84).

Russian Evgeni Rilov also won the 200 meters after the 100-meter backstroke.

The 24-year-old Rilov took the gold in 1.53.27, ahead of the American defending champion Ryan Murphy (1.54.15) and the British Luke Greenbank (1.54.72).

Tatjana Schoenmaker broke the 2013 world record in the 200m breaststroke.

Tatjana Schoenmaker broke the 2013 world record in the 200m breaststroke.

Photo: AFP