Johannesburg - Former swimming world record holder Karen Muir has died at the age of 60, Sport24 reported on Tuesday.

Muir, who was born in Kimberley but later moved to Canada, lost a battle against breast cancer.

Born in Kimberley in 1952, Muir became a teenage sensation in the 1960s, setting numerous global bests in multiple swimming disciplines.

She did not compete at the Olympic Games, due to South Africa's isolation, but was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1980.

Muir gave up swimming when she was in her last year of high school, to focus on her studies. She later became a medical doctor and ran successful medical practices in South Africa and Canada.

Swimming SA could not confirm the former star's death.

“We have contacted the family and we're waiting for confirmation,” spokesman Godfrey Monei said.