A 95-year-old Japanese man who took up track only three decades ago has run the 100 meters in 22.04 seconds, a record for his age bracket, according to media reports.

Kozo Haraguchi looked sturdy and fit on Sunday as he dashed at an outdoor track slick with rain in the southern city of Miyazaki.

"It was the first time for me to run in the rain and as I was thinking to myself, 'I mustn't fall, I mustn't fall,' I made it across the goal," Haraguchi told reporters.

Japanese media reports yesterday said that Haraguchi had beaten the world record of 24.01 seconds for the 95-99 age group set by Hawaii resident Erwin Jaskulski in May 1999.

His time will be submitted to the World Masters Athletics organization for verification, they said.

Haraguchi also holds the World Masters Athletics' world record for the fastest man aged 90-95 -- a time of 18.08 seconds he set in September 2000. He started track events at age 65 and stays healthy by taking hour-long walks daily.

-- From News Services

"It was the first time for me to run in the rain and as I was thinking to myself, 'I mustn't fall, I mustn't fall,' I made it across the goal," Kozo Haraguchi said after running the 100 meters in 22.04 seconds.