World of Sport

Japan’s ‘Golden Bolt’ challenges superstar to race at 103 years old

World of Sport

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He might be approaching his 104th birthday, but that hasn’t prevented Japanese sprint sensation Hidekichi Miyazaki throwing down the gauntlet to six-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt.

Miyazaki, who insists he can run until he’s 108, holds the 100 metres world record for centenarians with an impressive 29.83 seconds clocking.

“I'd love to race Bolt,” Miyazaki, who is nicknamed ‘Golden Bolt’, told AFP. “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.”

Miyazaki’s 100m best is some way short of Bolt’s world record of 9.58 seconds, but a compromise could surely be reached where, say, they run 100m and 300m respectively (Bolt’s 300m record is 30.97).

Peculiarly, Miyazaki only took up running aged 92 after watching an older woman competing in the shot put on TV. Given he’s only had 11 years in the sport, his latest goal is to stick at athletics and set the world record in the 105-109 category in a couple of years.

“That's what I'm training for,” said Miyazaki. “It's my birthday next month and that's my next goal. I can run for another five years.”

While Bolt’s stunning individual sprint double at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 was fuelled primarily by chicken nuggets, Miyazaki must battle his eating habits on a daily basis to remain in perfect condition.

"When I eat, I chew each mouthful 30 times before swallowing," he said. "That makes my tummy happy and helps my running. And I eat my tangerine jam every day."

Securing a race with the Jamaican speedster is no easier feat given Bolt’s pursuit for athletics immortality, distaste for a heavy race schedule and worrying injury proneness, but hopefully a campaign will be launched to ensure the head-to-head happens.

And it doesn’t look as though Miyazaki is content on finishing second, announcing to Bolt: “let’s rumble”.

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