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Roland Mark Schoeman OIS (born 3 July 1980) is a South African swimmer and was a member of the South African swimming team at the 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games.

Roland Schoeman
Personal information
Full nameRoland Mark Schoeman
Nationality South Africa
Born (1980-07-03) 3 July 1980 (age 39)
Pretoria, South Africa
Height1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
Weight84 kg (185 lb; 13.2 st)
StrokesFreestyle, butterfly
ClubPhoenix Swim Club (USA)
CoachJonty Skinner


Born in Pretoria, Schoeman first took an interest in the sport when he was 13, and began to compete three years later.[1] He said he began swimming only to impress a girl he met.[2] This marked the beginning of a career that would see him attain a gold, silver and bronze medal at the 2004 Olympic Games; three gold, a silver and a bronze World Championship medals, as well as four gold, three silvers and three bronzes at the Commonwealth Games. He set new South African records in the 100 m Freestyle (48.69 s), 50 m Freestyle (22.04 s), 100 m Butterfly (52.73 s) and 50 m Butterfly (23.65 s) events.

He won a gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens in the 4 × 100 m freestyle, a silver medal in the 100 m freestyle event and a bronze in the 50 m freestyle. Three of the Men's 100 metre Freestyle team were in the team that broke the record and won gold at the 2006 Commonwealth Games. He also claimed golds in the 100m freestyle and 100m butterfly.

Schoeman, who is asthmatic, was voted the African Swimmer of the Year by Swimming World in 2004, 2005 and 2006; and the South African Swimmer of the Year in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006. He was elected South African Sports Star of the Year in 2004.[3]

In 2007, he received the South African Presidential Award Order of Ikhamanga in Silver, awarded for excellent achievements in the field of swimming.[4]

At the 2005 FINA World Aquatics Championships in Montreal, Quebec, Canada he won two gold medals [50 m Butterfly (in a world record time of 22.96 s) and Freestyle (21.69 s, the second fastest time in history at the time)]. He also claimed a silver in 100 m freestyle.

In December 2005, Schoeman turned down a 40 Million Rand (US$5.9 million) contract to swim for Qatar.[5] He stated reasons of national pride for turning down the offer and that hearing the South African national anthem and sharing the joy of his victories with his fellow South Africans is what made winning gold special.

At the 2007 FINA World Aquatics Championships in Melbourne Australia he successfully defended his 50m butterfly title. He also made the final of the 50 m and 100 m freestyle and was part of the 4 × 100 m freestyle relay team that finished fourth.

On 6 September 2008 Roland Schoeman set a new short course meters (25 m pool) world record of 20.64 at South African Nationals. Schoeman lost his world record in late 2008 but regained his record in August 2009. At the South Africa Short Course Championships, Schoeman swam 20.30 seconds. This time was broken in 2014 by Florent Manaudou.

At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Schoeman, aged 32, advanced to the final in the men's 50 m freestyle, clocking a 21.80 to finish 0.46 seconds behind the gold medal winner, Florent Manaudou.

In 2016, Schoeman missed qualification for a fifth Olympics.[6]

Career best timesEdit

Schoeman has broken three long course world records (two individual, one relay) and six short course world records (all individual).

Event Time Record Date Location
Long course
50m Freestyle 21.67 SA Record Holder 16 Aug 2008 Beijing, China
50m Freestyle 21.67 = SA Record Holder 02 Aug 2013 Barcelona, Spain
100m Freestyle 48.17 Former SA Record Holder 15 Aug 2004 Athens, Greece
50m Butterfly 22.90 Former WR Holder 26 Jul 2009 Rome, Italy
4 × 100 m Freestyle 3:11.93 Former WR Holder 26 Jul 2009 Rome, Italy
Short course
50m Freestyle 20.30 Former WR Holder 8 August 2009 Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
100m Freestyle 46.25 Former WR Holder 22 January 2005 Berlin, Germany
50m Butterfly 21.87 14 Nov 2009 Berlin, Germany
100m IM 52.20 Former WR Holder 13 Aug 2006 Hamburg, Germany


In 2004 he was inducted into the University of Pretoria Sport Hall of fame.[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "".
  2. ^ "Roland Schoeman uncut".
  3. ^ "".
  4. ^ "Team SA profile: Roland Schoeman". Archived from the original on 18 July 2012.
  5. ^ "I am an African: Roland Schoeman". Archived from the original on 21 August 2008.
  6. ^ Race, Loretta (21 April 2016). "Schoeman Falls Short Of 5th Olympic Games, Yet Marches On". Swimswam. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 1 October 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Hall of fame Retrieved 25 June 2011

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Mark Foster
Men's 50-metre freestyle
world record-holder (short course)

23 March 2000 – 23 March 2000
Shared with Mark Foster
Succeeded by
Anthony Ervin
Preceded by
Michael Klim, Chris Fydler,
Ashley Callus and Ian Thorpe
Men's 4 × 100 metres freestyle relay
world record-holder (long course)

15 August 2004 – 19 August 2006
with Lyndon Ferns, Darian Townsend and Ryk Neethling
Succeeded by
Michael Phelps, Neil Walker,
Cullen Jones and Jason Lezak
Preceded by
Thomas Rupprath
Men's 100-metre individual medley
world record-holder (short course)

18 January 2005 – 22 January 2005
Succeeded by
Ryk Neethling
Preceded by
Ian Crocker
Men's 100-metre freestyle
world record-holder (short course)

22 January 2005 – 17 December 2007
Succeeded by
Stefan Nystrand
Preceded by
Ian Crocker
Men's 50-metre butterfly
world record-holder (long course)

24 July 2005 – 5 April 2009
Succeeded by
Rafael Muñoz
Preceded by
Frédérick Bousquet
Men's 50-metre freestyle
world record-holder (short course)

12 August 2006 – 18 November 2007
Succeeded by
Stefan Nystrand
Preceded by
Duje Draganja
Men's 50-metre freestyle
world record-holder (short course)

7 September 2008 – 11 December 2008
Succeeded by
Amaury Leveaux
Preceded by
Amaury Leveaux
Men's 50-metre freestyle
world record-holder (short course)

8 August 2009 – 5 December 2014
Succeeded by
Florent Manaudou
Preceded by
Not available
World African Swimmer of the Year
2004 – 2007
Succeeded by
Ous Mellouli