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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 July, 2004, 22:34 GMT 23:34 UK
Centenarian cracks sprint record
Philip Rabinowitz celebrates becoming the fastest 100-year-old over 100m
Rabinowitz's record was finally recognised at the second attempt
A 100-year-old South African man has finally been recognised as the world's fastest centenarian runner.

Philip Rabinowitz from Cape Town ran 100m at the city's Green Point stadium in 30.86 seconds, beating the existing record by more than five seconds.

He thought he had broken the record a week ago, but was told the electronic recording clock had failed.

"Oh I feel wonderful now, absolutely wonderful," Mr Rabinowitz said after his triumph.

About 50 people watched Flying Phil, as he has become known, break the previous record of 36.19 seconds set by Austrian Erwin Jaskulski.

Every time I go, I break my own record. I get younger and younger.
Flying Phil Rabinowitz
South African athletics officials were on hand to check the time into the record books, after last week's equipment failure.

"I don't know how long it is going to be like this," said Mr Rabinowitz after his record run.

"Every time I go, I break my own record. I get younger and younger," he said as his pulse was checked by his coach.

Besides eating apples, he recommends moderation, work and walking as the key to a long life.

Although it appears Mr Rabinowitz does not follow his own advice when it comes to exercise.

"I usually walk six or seven kilometres every day and at weekends I stretch it to 10 or 12km," he told the BBC's Network Africa programme.

Olympic flame

Work, Mr Rabinowitz explained, was another secret to longevity and he goes to his daughter's dog food factory five days a week to do the accounts.

"I don't want to sit around here and do nothing," he said.

Over the next few months, Mr Rabinowitz will be kept busy as he has received invites to participate in the Senior Olympics in Hawaii in November and a 14km surf walk in Sydney, Australia, in September.

Mr Rabinowitz, who carried the Olympic flame when it came to Cape Town last month, admitted to liking his time in the limelight.

"I'm enjoying it very, very much."




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
The BBC's Christen Thomsen
"It's an astonishing achievement for an astonishing man"



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