World Aquatics
Photo Credit: Supplied

South African swimmers spanning generations returned from the World Aquatics Masters Championships with record smashes and gold medals including Geraldine Janssens who is in her 70s!


Japan (23 August 2023) – In Japan across cities Fukuoka, Kumamoto and Kagoshima, South Africa’s presence was proudly felt during the World Aquatics Master Championships.

Here, swimmers spanned generations and nationalities, uniting in their love of competitive waters. ‘The Worlds’ as the Championships are affectionately known, are as much about putting your best dive forward in an elite atmosphere and competing for titles as they are about breaking age barriers in sport—a huge part of the Championships’ charm.

Over a week in early August, South African swimmers ranging from their 40s to 70s pulled out all the stops; breaking records and bringing a bounty of medals homeward!

The Results Are In!

World Record:

  • 50m Butterfly Age Group 45-49: Marc Allan

Gold Medals:

  • 200m Backstroke Age Group 75-79: Geraldine Janssens
  • 3km Openwater, 800m Free, 400m Free, 200m Free Age Group 60-64: Ingrid Trusler
  • 100m Butterfly Age Group 45-49: Marc Allan

Silver Medals:

  • 100m Backstroke Age Group 30-34: Jacques van Wyk
  • 100m Freestyle, 50m Freestyle Age Group 45-49: Marc Allan

Top 10 Finishes:

  • 100m Butterfly, 100m Freestyle Age Group 30-34: Jacques van Wyk
  • 100m Backstroke, 200m Backstroke, 100m Freestyle Age Group 40-44: Matthew Tyson
  • 100m Freestyle Age Group 60-64: Ingrid Trusler
  • 100m Breaststroke, 200m Breaststroke Age Group 45-49: Melanie van Wyk
  • 50m Breaststroke, 100m Breaststroke Age Group 50-54: Wendy Cook

Speaking on the opportunity to participate in the World Aquatics Champs, two Masters’ competitors relished in reflection:

“I wish I was a WR holder or a Gold Medal Winner. But I’ll certainly settle for being in the elite performance atmosphere, though. An event for all, where all can work towards their own goal, knowing the facilities around them will give them the very best chance.”—Matthew Tyson.

Melanie van Wyk adds:

“I’m on the same page as Tyson. This is what Worlds is all about for me too. It’s a chance to soak up world-class facilities, push ourselves based on our individual efforts and being supportive of others in their quest to be the best they can be at that stage. Sure, winning a medal would be incredible, but for most, it’s honestly about just showing up and being a part of it all.

“At our stage in life, fitting swimming into an already packed schedule of parenting, work, entrepreneurial ventures, and relationships is no small feat. So, imagine jetting off to a distant country, somehow managing time off from work, and having our family’s unwavering support for those long hours of training – that’s where the real magic happens.”

Sources: Melanie van Wyk – Supplied
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Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

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