Almost 104, the Japanese over age 100 world record holder in 100-metres, challenges world's fastest man Usain Bolt to a race.
At 103 the oldest competing athlete, Miyazaki Hidekichi takes part in the International Gold Masters 2013, Kyoto. (Photo courtesy of Japan Masters Athletics)
103yr-old calls-out world sprint champ
AFP News agency
103-year-old Japanese sprinter Hidekichi Miyazaki (center) leaves the start line during the men's 100m sprint at a competition in Kyoto on August 3, 2014
KYOTO, Japan - Closing in on his 104th birthday, a twinkle-toed Japanese sprinter has thrown down the challenge to the world's fastest man Usain Bolt, telling him: "let's rumble!"
Hidekichi Miyazaki -- who holds the 100 metres world record for centenarians at 29.83 seconds and is dubbed 'Golden Bolt' after the Jamaican flyer -- plans to wait another five years for his dream race and was happy to reveal his secret weapon: his daughter's tangerine jam.
"I'd love to race Bolt," the wispy-haired Miyazaki told AFP in an interview after tottering over the finish 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."
Born in 1910 -- the year Japan annexed Korea and when the Titanic was still under construction -- the pint-sized Miyazaki offered some dietary tips to Bolt, whose world record is 9.58 seconds.
"My body is small so I take care of what I eat," said Miyazaki, who stands just 1.53 metres (five feet) tall and weighs in at 42 kilograms (92 pounds).
"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."
In a country with one of the world's highest life expectancies, Miyazaki is the poster boy for Japan's turbo-charged geriatrics.
Some 6,000 pensioners are registered at the Masters federation which hosts more than 40 track and field meetings every year across the nation.
Serenaded by buzzing cicadas in sweltering heat, Miyazaki fell into the arms of 73-year-old daughter Kiyono after clocking 38.35 -- more than 20 seconds behind race winner Yoshio Kita, a relative spring chicken at 82.
"I'd give myself five out of 10 for that," he said after regaining his breath and copying Bolt's trademark 'lightning' pose. "Before I ran I curled up for a little nap -- big mistake! I felt stiff.
"I'm still young so it's a learning process," joked Miyazaki, grinning from ear to ear as he put on a straw hat. "I can run for another five years."
- Late bloomer -
Miyazaki, who hails from tea-growing Shizuoka prefecture, about 200 kilometres southwest of Tokyo, was a late bloomer, only taking up running at the age of 92 after watching an old people's sports day broadcast on television.
Having become the planet's fastest centenarian in 2010, he now has his sights on another milestone in the unlikely 105-109 age group category.
"That's what I'm training for," said Miyazaki, who loses valuable seconds at the start of races because he can't hear the gun go off.
"It's my birthday next month and that's my next goal."
He need only cross the finish line to set the new world record as no official mark exists in that age class.
As Miyazaki left the track, 85-year-old Mitsue Tsuji tossed a shot put 4.73 metres -- this after she had set a mark of 2.07 metres in the long jump. Not content, she set a meet record of 13.85 in the women's 60 metres sprint.
"I started doing athletics when I was 81," she said. "My husband had passed away and I thought there was no point moping around at home alone."
Tsuji will join Miyazaki at next month's Asia Masters championships in northeast Japan.
"I had a bit of a fall last year and was going to skip it," said Tsuji, who credits power naps for her age-defying stamina.
"But my son told me I might not live much longer so I'll do as I'm told. I'll keep going as long as I'm around."
As the pair tore it up with the other high-fiving grannies and granddads in Kyoto, 78-year-old endurance runner Yoko Nakano pounded the streets in Tokyo, preparing for her latest world record tilt.
- 'Too stubborn to quit' -
Nakano ran her first full marathon at 70 "for fun" while vacationing in Honolulu -- clocking four hours, four minutes, 44 seconds -- and now holds the world record for 75 to 79-year-olds, as well as those for the 3,000 and 5,000 metres.
"We were on holiday so I thought we might as well run," she smiled, perched on a tree stump in a canary yellow T-shirt and polka dot scarf. Her world marathon mark now stands at 3:53.42.
The bespectacled Nakano, whose has also run marathons in New York and Boston, bounced back from stomach surgery last year, building her post-op fitness by walking up and down the hospital corridors.
"I walked about seven kilometres a day inside the hospital," she said. "I guess I'm too stubborn to quit."
Miyazaki, who is also handy with a shot put, gave an insight into his need for speed.
"I make sure not to use my brain," he said. "I always keep it empty and uncluttered. That's important."
[Note: Race begins 43 seconds into video clip below]
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annex: to take control of a country, region, etc, especially by force - ยึดครองบริเวณ
attempt: when a person tries to do something or achieve some goal, makes an effort to do it - ความพยายาม
bespectacled: wearing glasses - สวมแว่นตา
bolt: lightning bolt; a sudden flash of lightning in the sky, appearing as a line, often used when referring to Olympic champion Usain Bolt - แสงแปลบปลาบของฟ้าแล็บ
bounce back: to become healthy, happy, or successful again after something bad has happened to you - กลับสู่สภาพปกติ
breath: an amount of air that enters the lungs at one time; the air that you take into your lungs and send out again - ลมหายใจ
broadcast: a programme that can be seen or heard on television or radio - แพร่ภาพกระจายเสียง
buzzing: making a continuous low sound such as the one a bee makes - เสียงเหมือนผึ้งร้องหึ่งๆ
centenarian: a person who is 100 years old or more -
challenge: an invitation or a suggestion to somebody that they should enter a competition, fight, etc - การท้าทาย
champion: winner; the winner of a sports competition - ผู้ชนะเลิศ, ผู้ที่ได้คะแนนสูงสุดในการแข่งขัน
championship: a competition to find the best player or team in a sport or game - การแข่งขันเพื่อได้ตัวผู้ชนะเลิศ
cluttered: putting too many things in a place so that it looks untidy - รกรุงรัง, เกะกะ
compete: to try to be more successful or better than somebody else who is trying to do the same as you - แข่งขัน
competition: a situation in which people or organizations compete, i.e., try to be more successful or better than somebody else who is trying to do the same as you - การแข่งขัน
construction: the work of building or making something, especially buildings, bridges, etc. - การก่อสร้าง
corridor: a long narrow area along which something travels - ระเบียง,เฉลียง,เส้นทาง
curl up: to form a curved or round shape - ขดตัว
dietary: related to the food and drink usually taken by a person or group - อาหาร, สิ่งที่กินได้
discipline: the ability to control your actions - วินัย
disciplined: controlled - มีวินัย (ในการใช้จ่าย)
dubbed: called; given a name - ถูกเรียก ตั้งฉายา
empty: having nothing inside - ว่างเปล่า
endurance: the ability to continue doing something physically difficult or continue dealing with an unpleasant situation for a long time - ความอดกลั้น, ความอดทน
federation: a large organisation made up of several smaller organisations or groups that share similar aims - สหพันธ์, สมาคม
geriatrics: the study of medicine for older people -
granny: grandmother -
grin: smiling showing your teeth - ยิ้มยิงฟัน, ยิงฟันยิ้ม
hail from: to be from a particular place - มีภูมิลำเนามาจาก
host: to provide the space and other things necessary for a special event - ทำหน้าที่เป็นเจ้าภาพ, เป็นผู้จัดรายการ
insight: a chance to understand something or learn more about it - การเข้าใจอย่าถ่องแท้, ความเข้าใจลึกซึ้ง
interview: to ask someone questions in a meeting for a newspaper article, television show, etc. The noun form is also interview - สัมภาษณ์, การสัมภาษณ์
jam: (1) a sweet sticky food made from boiled fruit and sugar that is usually spread onto bread - แยม (2) a difficult situation สถานการณ์ที่ยุ่งยาก
joyful: great happiness - ที่เปี่ยมไปด้วยความสุข
late bloomer: a person who is a success later in life -
learn: to know more - เรียนรู้
life expectancy: the number of years that a person is likely to live; the length of time that something is likely to exist or continue for - การคาดหมายคงชีพ
lightning: a flash, or several flashes, of very bright light in the sky caused by electricity - ฟ้าผ่า, ฟ้าแลบ, สายฟ้า
Masters Athletic: athletic competition for people over age 35, usually in running and track and field events -
milestone: an event or achievement that marks an important stage in a process - เหตุการณ์สำคัญ (ที่ควรบันทึกไว้)
mistake: something that you do that is not correct, an error - ความผิดพลาด, ข้อผิดพลาด,ความเข้าใจผิด
nap: a short sleep, usually during the day - การงีบ
nation: a country considered as a group of people with the same language, culture and history, who live in a particular area under one government; all the people in a country - ประเทศ, คนในประเทศ
on holiday: having a vacation; on vacation -
pair: two of something - คู่
pensioner: a person who is receiving a pension (money received regularly after retirement), especially from the government - ผู้รับเงินบำนาญ
perch on: to sit on - เกาะบน
personal: your own; not belonging to or connected with anyone else - เป็นส่วนตัว
pint-sized: small -
pose: to stay in a particular position in order to be photographed - วางท่าถ่ายรูป
post-op: after an operation or surgery -
poster boy: a child or person who is used to promote some cause or event, appearing on "posters" -
prefecture: an area of local government in some countries, for example France, Italy and Japan - อำเภอ
process: a series of actions that you take in order to achieve a result - แนวทางปฏิบัติ, กระบวน, วิธีการ
recent: happening or starting a short time ago - เร็วๆ นี้
record: the best or most ever achieved - สถิติ
regain: to get back something that was lost or taken away - ได้กลับมา
register: to record something on a list - บันทึก
relative: somewhat; in comparison with someone or something similar - ค่อนข้าง
reveal: to let something become known - เปิดเผย
rumble: fight -
scarf: a piece of cloth that is worn around the neck, for example for warmth or decoration. Women also wear scarves over their shoulders or hair - ผ้าพันคอ
secret: things that you do not tell other people - ความลับ
serenade: when people sing a song for someone -
shape: fitness; the physical condition of a person or animal, especially how fit, strong, or healthy they are - สมรรถภาพทางกาย, ความแข็งแรงของร่างกาย
spring chicken: a cute way to say that an older person is actually young -
sprint: a short period of doing something (e.g., running or, in this case, campaigning, very fast - วิ่งด้วยความเร็วสูงสุด, ความเร็วสูงสุดในระยะสั้น
sprint: to run (or swim) a short distance very fast - วิ่งเต็มฝีเท้า, วิ่งด้วยความเร็วสูง
sprinter: a runner who races in short, very fast events - นักวิ่งระยะสั้น
stiff: not easily bent or moved; firm or hard - แข็ง,แข็งทื่อ
stubborn: determined to do what you want and refusing to do anything else - ดื้อรั้น
succeed: to achieve the goals you wanted to achieve or make a lot of money - มีผลสำเร็จ, ประสบผลสำเร็จ, ประสบชัยชนะ
surgery: medical treatment in which a doctor cuts open someone’s body - การทำศัลยกรรม
swallow: to make food or drink go from your mouth down through your throat and into your stomach - กลืน
sweltering: to be very hot in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable - ร้อนมาก
take part in: to join and be part of some activity; participate as participant -
take up: to start doing a particular job or activity - เริ่มทำ
tangerine: a fruit that looks like an orange -
track and field: sports that people compete in, such as running and jumping - กรีฑา
trademark: something particularly noticeable that a person typically has - เครื่องหมายประจำตัว
tummy: the stomach or the area around the stomach - ท้อง
turbo-charged: full of energy -
twinkle-toed: able to move around quickly with great skill, nimble, with great dexterity -
vacation: holiday; a period of time spent travelling or resting away from home - ลาพักผ่อน, ลาพักร้อน
weapon: an object such as a knife, gun, bomb, etc. that is used for fighting or attacking somebody - อาวุธ
whoop: to shout unexpectedly because you are very happy or excited about something - ร้องด้วยความดีใจ
world record: the best result or the highest or lowest level that has ever been reached in the world - สถิติโลก
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