Triple Gold Rush For 101-Year-Old Athlete

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Written By Saeed Maleki

A 101-year-old woman sprinter is celebrating taking triple gold at the World Masters Games.

Man Kaur, from India, romped home in the 100 metres in 1 minute 14 seconds as the only athlete to enter the sprint in her age category.

She later zipped across the line in 2 minutes and 58 seconds to take the 200-metre gold.

She was cleared to run by doctors and has become the oldest ever athlete to win the sprint double at a major international athletics competition.

But her track and field achievements did not end there – she also grabbed gold in the shot put with a throw of 2.1 metres.

Kaur celebrated her Auckland, New Zealand, wins with a victory dance before accepting her medals.

Her son Gurdev, said she took up racing when aged 93 at races around her home in Chandigarh.

Since then, she has collected 17 gold medals.

Secret of success

And the secret of her success?

“She eats healthily and trains every day,” said her son.

Putting her records into perspective, the world record holders for men and women sprinters are way ahead of her times – but they are much younger and the peak of fitness.

Olympic double gold sprint champion Usain Bolt set the world records for the 100m at 9.58 seconds and for the 200m at 19.19 seconds in Berlin in 2009.

Florence Griffith-Joyner set world records for the women’s 100m at 10.49 seconds and 21.34 seconds for the 200m at the 1988 Olympics.

Man Kaur is not the only 100-year-old athlete ripping up the record books.

A university research team published a paper in July 2016 listing the best performances by centenarians in athletics, swimming and cycling.

The results covered 60 events and 19 athletes.

Performance drops at 35 years old

The top athlete was Donald Pellman, who set a 100m record in 2015 of 26.99 seconds. Pellman also posted a 0.9-metre high jump at the age of 100.

The centenarian champion was French cyclist Robert Marchand, who pedalled just under 27 kilometres in an hour in 2014.

Another yardstick is a 16:46:41 1500m set by Leslie Amey in 2000.

The report suggests that older athletes can maintain cycling performances better than running or swimming.

They say athletes can keep to their standards until aged around 35, then performance drops between 7% and 14% a decade – but declines even steeper for 70 or 80-year-old runners and swimmers.