Xiang Liu

Age is no barrier to enjoying Athletics

Liu Xiang on the eve of the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul (Getty Images)Liu Xiang on the eve of the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul (Getty Images) © Copyright

In the third installment of his IAAF Online Diary, China's Liu Xiang, the former World and Olympic champion and World record breaker, reflects that their are no age barriers when it comes to enjoying Athletics.

"During my training period in Dusseldorf, Germany in March, I observed four older people training over several days. They were full of vigor, always starting with warm-ups and sometimes I noticed that they even wore spike shoes for starting blocks and sprints. This seemed very professional to me."

"When I asked their ages I was surprised by what I heard. They told me they were each over 70 years of age, with the oldest person being 82-years-old! They used to be European Masters Champions and competitors and were in the midst of preparing for the World Masters Championships."

“ 'Chinese Liu, we are fans of you. We love to watch you compete'. They gave me a newspaper as a gift. In it was a report about me, returning back to competition after my injury. Watching them train, I was moved. I admired their enthusiasm in Athletics. I thanked them for their concerns about me and told them that their encouragement will push me to work even harder to be faster, reach higher, and have a stronger resolve."

"I wish all the veterans the very best that they may enjoy happiness and health brought by our sport."

Liu Xiang