‘Perhaps I'm getting old!’ 105yo Japanese Golden Bolt sets sprinting best, says he can run faster
“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!" Hidekichi Miyazaki told AFP after taking part in the race in Kyoto.
Miyazaki, who is only 153 cm tall, has coined the nickname, ‘Golden Bolt’ as he likes to imitate the famous lightning bolt pose of six-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt.
"I'm still a beginner, you know," said the sprinter, who celebrated his 105-years birthday a day before the race. "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."
Aside from his age, the veteran does have another significant disadvantage. His poor hearing means that he sometimes loses vital seconds at the start of his race as he is unable to hear the starter’s gun.
Miyazaki, who was born on September 22, 1910 before World War I, says he is definitely proud of his 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. I can definitely keep on running for other two or three years.”
Miyazaki holds the 100 meters Guinness record for centenarians at 29.83 seconds. He says he is still ready to compete with the 29-year-old superstar Bolt, who holds the 100 meters world record of 9.58 seconds.
"I would still love to compete against him," said Miyazaki, "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."
The 105 year-old did not start his running career until he was in his 90s. He says that it is too early for him to retire and he continues to train – he puts a kilogram weight into his backpack whilst undertaking his daily walk.
"I can't think about retiring. I have to continue for a few more years, to show my gratitude to my fans," the sprinter added. He is already preparing for his next challenge, the Japanese Masters Championships, which is scheduled in October.