102-year-old Thai man breaks 100 meter record

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courtesy of Reuters

A 102-year-old man has broken the 100 meter sprint record for a centenarian. Sawang Janpram, from Thailand, ran the race in a record-breaking 27.08 seconds- that is 8.25 miles per hour (13.2 kph)!

Sawang competed in the 100 to 105 year old category at the Thailand Master Athletes Championships. He came first against others in his age category. Sprinting was not the only sport he excelled in. Sawang also picked up three more gold medals for the dash, javelin and discus events. So what is the secret to Sawang’s vitality?

Keeping fit and eating well, according to Sawang. He eats three meals a day, based upon a diet of vegetables and chili paste. Every day Sawang keeps fit by sweeping leaves in his garden, and taking walks with Siripan, his 70 year-old daughter. Siripan is also her father’s coach, and helps him train for competitions. In training season, Sawang will also increase his exercise and practice sprinting twice a day.

“My father always has positive thoughts … so he is in a great mental health condition. In terms of physical health, he has gotten much stronger,” Siripan says.

Taking up exercise later in life

Far from being a natural athlete, Sawang has not always been a fan of keeping fit. In fact, he had previously lived a sedentary lifestyle and did not start exercising until he was 80. After one of his friends became bedridden, Sawang decided that keeping fit was the best way to stay healthy. Since 2017 the centenarian has been competing in competitive races.

“Getting into sports made me strong and well. As well as this, exercising helps improve your appetite so you eat well too,”

The Thailand Master Athletes Championships is for participants between the age of 30 and 105. It first started in 1996 with 300 participants, and today has over 2000 athletes.

“As you can see, everybody who’s here to compete has all forgotten about their ages. Once they forget about their ages, they are happy,” Viwat Vigrantanoros, president of Asia Masters Athletics said.

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