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Japan's centenarian sprinter Miyazaki 'Golden Bolt' dies at 108

Photo: AFP


Hidekichi Miyazaki, a Japanese centenarian who set the 100-metre sprint world record for the over-105 age category, has died aged 108, a local sports official said Friday.

Miyazaki, dubbed "Golden Bolt" after eight-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt, passed away on Wednesday, the official confirmed.

The record breaking athlete was born in 1910 - the year Japan annexed Korea and when the Titanic was still being built.

In 2015, he clocked 42.22 seconds in his home city of Kyoto to set a 100-metre world record in the over-105 age category - one for which no mark previously existed - a day after reaching the milestone age.

The feat and photos of him striking Bolt's famous "lightning" pose made international headlines, prompting even the Jamaican sprinter himself to tweet a shout-out to the elder runner.

But the ageing athlete himself was less than impressed by his achievement.

"I'm not happy with the time," Miyazaki told AFP in an interview right after the record breaking performance.

"I started shedding tears during the race because I was going so slowly. Perhaps I'm getting old!"

He took up running in his early 90s and said he would prepare for races by taking a sneaky catnap.