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,” the pint-sized Miyazaki told AFP in an interview after recovering his wind. “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 can still go faster.”
“I will say this: 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.
“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 another two or three years.”
Dressed in his trademark red, tight shorts hiked alarmingly high, Miyazaki got off to a wobbly start before finding a gentle rhythm and trotting across the finish line to loud cheers, greeted by his great-grandchildren carrying bouquets.
Cheekily, he celebrated by striking Bolt’s famous “lightning” pose before being presented with a certificate from Guinness officials.
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!”
The twinkle-toed Miyazaki, who holds the 100 metres world record for centenarians at 29.83 seconds, insisted there was still time for a dream race against the giant Jamaican.
“I would still love to compete against him,” said Miyazaki, who loses valuable seconds because he cannot hear the starter’s gun go off.