103-year-old Japanese sprinter challenges Usain Bolt to a race


(Getty Images)

Hidekichi Miyazaki of Japan is 103 years old, and about to turn 104. He is 5 feet tall and weighs 92 pounds. He holds the world record in the 100 meters for centenarians: 29.83 seconds.

Hidekichi Miyazaki wants to race Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man.

Agence France-Presse has more:

“I’d love to race Bolt,” the wispy-haired Miyazaki told AFP in an interview after tottering over the line with a joyful whoop at a recent Japan Masters Athletics competition in Kyoto.

“I’m keeping the dream alive. I try to stay in top shape and stay disciplined and healthy. That’s important for everyone — even Usain Bolt.”

His secret, it appears, is lots of chewing. And his daughter’s tangerine jam:

“When I eat, I chew each mouthful 30 times before swallowing,” he added, loosening his Usain Bolt running shoes. “That makes my tummy happy and helps my running. And I eat my tangerine jam every day.”

Miyazaki recently competed in the Japan Masters Athletics competition in Kyoto, clocking in at 38.35 seconds, about 20 seconds behind winner Yoshio Kita, who had the distinct advantage of being only 82 years old. Miyazaki’s time also was slightly off Bolt’s world-record pace of 9.58 seconds.

After the race, he said he was training to become the fastest sprinter in the 105-109 age group territory. But according to AFP, he has something of a handicap: Namely, he can’t hear the starting gun go off, giving the edge to his competitors and, presumably, to Bolt if their Race of the Century ever goes off.

After spending the first 17 years of his Post career writing and editing, Matt and the printed paper had an amicable divorce in 2014. He's now blogging and editing for the Early Lead and the Post's other Web-based products.
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