Kyoto (Japan): A fleet-footed Japanese centenarian raced into the Guinness World Records reference book on Wednesday and declared himself a "medical marvel" as he continues to stalk sprint king Usain Bolt.
Hidekichi Miyazaki celebrates his 100m win by striking Usain Bolt’s famous 'lightning' pose
Hidekichi Miyazaki, dubbed 'Golden Bolt' after the fastest man on the planet, clocked 42.22 seconds in Kyoto to set a 100 metres world record in the over-105 age category - one for which no mark previously existed - a day after reaching the milestone age. "I'm not happy with the time," Miyazaki told AFP.
"I started shedding tears during the race because I was going so slowly. Perhaps I'm getting old!" Indeed, so leisurely was his pace that Bolt could have run his world record of 9.58 four times, or practically completed a 400 metres race — a fact not lost on Miyazaki.
"I'm still a beginner, you know," he said, grinning from ear to ear. "I'll have to train harder. Training was going splendidly, so I had set myself a target of 35 seconds. "I'm proud of my health," added Miyazaki, the poster boy for Japan's turbo-charged geriatrics in a country with one of the world's highest life expectancies.
"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." Asked about Bolt's latest heroics at last month's athletics world championships in Beijing, Miyazaki screwed up his nose and said with a chuckle: "He hasn't raced me yet! I would still love to compete against him," said Miyazaki, who loses valuable seconds because he cannot hear the starter's gun go off.
"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."
Miyazaki, who was born in 1910, only took up running in his early 90s and prepares for races by taking a sneaky catnap. He stands just five feet tall and weighs in at 42 kilograms He trains religiously by popping a kilogram weight into a rucksack and going for daily walks around his local park in Kyoto, where he now lives.