Standing on the edge of a platform with the water rippling below, 100-year-old Taghi Askari prepared to dive like he had done so many times before.

The Iranian won a silver and bronze medal at the first-ever Asian Games in 1951 and Askari has never lost his passion for the sport.

Fast forward to 2024 and his exhibition dive at the 2024 World Championships in Doha on Friday marked two weeks until the World Aquatics Masters Championships where he will be the oldest competitor.

“For me, I have had a love of diving since I was a teenager until today. I have always loved diving. Nothing has changed between 1951 and now, except my performance!” Askari told World Aquatics.

Askari first encountered diving at a swimming pool near his childhood home in Iran where other children were somersaulting into the water.

It ignited a lifelong love of diving for him, and he went on to win medals at the Asian Games and national titles.

“When I was competing at a national level the last championships I did was when I was 41 years old,” he said.

“I achieved a gold medal at the national level, and after that, I said goodbye to the sport, but at least with a gold medal.”

In the time since Askari began diving, the sport has changed hugely.

“By the time the games were in Tehran in 1974 the Chinese swimmers had entered this beautiful sport and they started to improve by a lot – we just couldn’t catch them as we stayed at the same level we started at,” he said.

The Iranian will be among the competitors at the World Aquatics Masters Championships – a competition held shortly after the elite world championships open to participants aged over 25.

Source: CNN

Categories: Sport

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