GEORGE NEWS - The teenage champion swimmer with the lion heart, Minke Janse van Rensburg (13), competed against 53 swimmers from all over the world at the Down Syndrome World Swimming Championship in Truro, Canada for the 50m freestyle title and emerged as the bronze medal winner. Though the youngest participant at the championship, she was beaten only by two swimmers, aged 29 and 26.
Not only was she very excited about her bronze medal, but her heat qualifying time earned her the new Down Syndrome Junior Africa and world records.
On Sunday, the fierce competition fired her to improve her personal best time by more than 4 seconds in the 25m butterfly race.
Although seeded 7th, Minke was only beaten by the 16-year-old French super-athlete Cleo Renou. Both swimmers broke the world record and Minke's time of 22,58 seconds earned her a silver medal and new Down Syndrome Junior Africa record.
Minke also holds the junior 50m freestyle long-course Down Syndrome world record and is the fastest swimmer in the South African national team that broke the Africa record in the open category 200m freestyle relay at the TYR Prestige gala in Durban earlier this month.
Her dad Hennie says Minke is very competitive and has proved herself to be a go-getter at all times.
He expressed thanks to Fish Eagle Aquatics for accommodating Minke in their events; her Sammy Seal coach and team that fostered her love of swimming; the Western Cape government; the George mayor; Carpe Diem school; Garden Route Mall; Leading Edge and various other sponsors who supported Minke and enabled her to participate in the world championship.