October 12, 2009 / 2:51 AM / 10 years ago

Female athlete sets new shot put record at age 100

SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - The oldest female athlete at the World Masters Games in Sydney has broken a world record in the shot put — at the age of 100.

All eyes were on Ruth Frith, from Brisbane, as she arrived for day two of the World Masters Games, hoping to win gold in the shot put and feeling pretty confident as she was the only competitor in the over-100s category.

But her 4.07 metre (13 ft 4.2 in) throw on Sunday didn’t just win her gold, but also broke a world record.

“As long as I didn’t foul I was going to win it,” Frith told Reuters Television.

The great-grandmother is also a keen hammer and javelin thrower and believes other pensioners should follow her example.

Frith trains five days a week, regularly lifting 35 kg (77 lb) weights. She doesn’t drink or smoke and she doesn’t eat vegetables either, claiming she hasn’t liked them since she was young.

Frith was clearly a star of the World Masters Games — an event which attracts about 28,000 athletes — and despite her age, said she has no plans to retire just yet. She contested her first World Masters Athletics Championships at the age of 74.

The World Masters Games have been held every four years since they began in Toronto in 1985, according to their website (www.2009worldmasters.com)

Open to people of all abilities and most ages, the games are the world’s largest multi-sport event, attracting twice as many competitors than the Olympic Games, the website said.

The main difference between the World Masters Games and the Olympic Games is that World Masters are open to people of all abilities rather than just elite athletes, with the emphasis on participation, the website added.

Reporting by Reuters Television, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith

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