The world's oldest marathon runner Fauja Singh on Tuesday said that he would hang his boots after the Australian marathon that kicks off on January 25.
"I am participating in the Australian marathon, which will be the last one I will be participating in," the 101-year-old told Hindustan Times during a visit to Nankana Sahib Public School, Gill Park.
As for his physical fitness, the centenarian asserted that he did not suffer from any disease and did not take any medicine. "The reason for my good health is that I exercise daily and follow a proper diet regime. Nowadays, people are more interested in going to a gym, but I feel that if they exercise regularly on their own they can be physically and mentally strong. Daily exercise will keep you away from all diseases," Singh remarked.
As for the condition of sports in India, Fauja Singh said, "I feel that the central and state governments give more importance to games like cricket and kabbadi but neglect other sports. Moreover, the government must provide proper facilities to all sportspersons as other countries are doing."
That Fauja Singh is quite capable of captivating the imagination of young impressionable minds was quite evident from his visit to the school.
Gurcharan Singh, a student of Class 3, was one youngster who was clearly in awe of the visiting celebrity. "I just want to know whether he can run faster than a bike or not," the youngster remarked.
His classmate Jasmine Singh said, "I admire that even at the age of 101 he is physically fit and is taking a round of the school ground like an 18-year-old youth."
Fauja Singh is also known as 'Turbaned Tornado', taken from the title of a book authored by Khushwant Singh in English which is now also available in Hindi and Punjabi.
Meanwhile, school principal Harmeet Kaur felicitated Fauja Singh by presenting him a shawl and bouquet.
Speaking to schoolchildren, Singh asked them to take their studies seriously so as to ensure a bright future.
Students of different age groups dressed up in traditional attires gave a 'gatka' performance with total enthusiasm on the occasion.