We are never too old to reach our goals.
Growing old doesn’t mean you can’t still be active and healthy. On that note, today we have a 93-year-old sprinter who challenges himself to defy the odds that has now earned him the championship title.
Breaking the norms, let us meet 93-year-old Pushpanathan Letchmanan, Malaysia’s oldest track sprinter, who has proven that age is no barrier recently by winning the 100m in his age group at the Malaysian Open Masters Athletics Championships.
The former English language teacher was named champion after clocking 32.4 seconds in a mixed race against other men who were over 75 years old.
Representing Perak Masters, he was the oldest athlete at the meeting, the 34th in the series that brought together senior athletes with almost endless stores of stamina.
Pushpanathan is the only runner aged over 90 to be competing in the men’s 100m in the most senior age group for competitors aged 75 and up.
As he finished fourth out of six in the race but first in his age category, the audience applauded his sprint pace, which included a broad swing of his arms.
“I want to keep running as long as I can. You have to stay active if you want to be healthy and happy as you age,” he told.
Fun fact, Pushpanathan completed the race on the same track at the Universiti Malaya Arena Sports Science Stadium that he inspected and certified under World Athletics standards many years ago as a technical official.
Prior to this amazing feat, Pushpanathan who has been involved in athletics since 1957 made his debut in the Malaysian Open Masters in 2018 and won the silver in the 400m.
In addition, three years ago, Pushpanathan stood out among the other competitors at the Malaysian Open Masters Athletics Championships when he won gold in the 400m in his age group with a time of just under 150s in Kuala Lumpur.
This age-defying sprinter maintains his fitness by doing a 2km run, jogging and sprinting along with practising yoga on alternate days as well as doing daily strength exercises.
To everyone who reads this article, I hope you take this as a motivation and start to move into a healthy lifestyle.
You’re such an inspiration to many people out here and all the best on your upcoming endeavours, sir!