Para-athlete wins world silver at the age of 60

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DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 14: Teruyo Tanaka of Japan competes in the Women's 100m T52 Final on day seven of the World Para Athletics Championships at the Dubai Club for People with Determination on November 11, 2019 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Moto Yoshimura/Getty Images)
Teruyo Tanaka of Japan (Credit: Getty Images)

The World Para-Athletics Championships currently underway in Dubai produced an incredible story that proves age really is just a number.

On Thursday, Japan's Teruyo Tanaka took home silver in the T52 100m event, despite the fact that she celebrated her 60th birthday last May.

Her time of 22.85 seconds was a season’s best and saw her finish behind American Kerry Morgan. Speaking after the race, she said: “This medal means a lot, but now I want to find the next target to deepen my career.”

Unsurprisingly, this is not the first major event that Tanaka has medalled at. She won gold in the 800m at the Atlanta Paralympics in 1996, as well as three silvers in Sydney (200m, 800m and 1500m) and a bronze in Beijing.

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There is currently no T52 (a classification for athletes affected in both upper and lower limbs) 100m on the Paralympic programme, but Tanaka is keen to compete in her home country when the Paralympics arrive in Tokyo in 2020.

Incredibly, Tanaka isn’t the oldest athlete competing in Dubai at the moment, she isn’t even the oldest on her team. That honour goes to her compatriot Toshie Oi – the 71-year-old who finished fifth in the F53 shot put.

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