Discussion posted by: David McNamara
Mieko Nagaoka first started swimming in her 80s to help recover from a knee injury sustained while practicing Noh, a traditional Japanese theatre. When she was 100, Nagaoka published her book entitled: “I’m 100 years old and the world’s best active swimmer”, before going on to set the first world record for her age group, swimming 1,500m in a 25m pool. At 105 years old, she still enters Masters competitions and currently holds 18 world records. Then in September 2019, to much media fanfare, Nagaoka announced her retirement before entering her last competition, the Japan Masters held in Fukuoka. She attempted to set the world’s first record in the 50m backstroke in the 105-109 age group but, was forced to retire from the race. She left the poolside smiling to the applause of her fans.