Hidekichi Miyazaki can’t hear the starter’s gun very well and he preps for every race by taking a catnap, but the 105-year-old sprinter is shredding world records.
On Wednesday, Hidekichi became the world’s oldest competitive sprinter, according to the Guinness World Records, and clocked in 42.22 seconds at 100-meter dash. He competed in the over 105 age category at the Kyoto Masters Autumn Competition, the Japan Times reported.
Miyazaki wasn’t happy with his time. His personal record is 34.10, which he earned when he was 103.
“I’m not happy with the time. I started shedding tears during the race because I was going so slowly. Perhaps I’m getting old! I’m still a beginner, you know. I’ll have to train harder. Training was going splendidly, so I had set myself a target of 35 seconds. I can still go faster.”
But Miyazaki will get another chance. Not one to retire, he plans to compete in next month’s Japanese Masters Championships.
Hidekichi has been running since he was 93. He took up the hobby after his friends started dying of old age and he needed something to do on his own, CNN added. Thirty years ago, Miyazaki retired from working at an agricultural cooperative, spent the next three decades enjoying his retirement — practicing calligraphy and playing chess with his friends.
His daughter, Kiyono, said he trains every day — unless it’s raining; he runs a 100-meter sprint and throws a shot put three times. Miyazaki’s doctor has told him all that running is too much for him, but he keeps on going. Hidekichi said he can keep running another three years.
“I will say this: I’m proud of my health. The doctors gave me a medical examination a couple of days ago and I’m fit as a fiddle. My brain might not be the sharpest, but physically I’m tip-top. I’ve never had any health problems. The doctors are amazed by me.”
Hidekichi’s secret is daily exercise, eating in moderation, and chewing his food properly, Reuters added.
Hidekichi was born in 1910 — while the Titanic was still being built. He was 8 when World War I ended and 34 when Japan was defeated in World War II. These days, he sports his now-famous bright-red T-shirt and white — and very short — running shorts and leaves the other centenarians in the dust.
Miyazaki is so confident in his skills as a runner that he wants to challenge one of the fastest men in the world, Usain Bolt. At his first competition at 96, Hidekichi began imitating the runner’s famous lightning bolt pose because “it’s cool.” This imitation has earned him the nickname the “Golden Bolt.”
And Miyazaki isn’t impressed by Bolt’s records, which he said he’s only achieved because “He hasn’t raced me yet!”
“Two or three years ago Bolt came to Japan and said he wanted to meet me. There was a call about it but I was out and he left without meeting me. I felt deeply sorry. I would still love to compete against him.”
[Photo Courtesy Twitter]