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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Athletics

Old in body, young in mind
IANS
Chandigarh, June 12, 2011
First Published: 23:38 IST(12/6/2011)
Last Updated: 23:42 IST(12/6/2011)

He could be the oldest man to have lived to see his biography published. Hundred-plus marathoner Fauja Singh's biography “Turbaned Tornado” is slated for release in London next month.

Fauja, who lives London, and has participated in many international marathon runs, will be 100 years and three months old when the book is released in the House of Lords in London. The biography has been penned by Chandigarh-based author Khushwant Singh. Fauja has rubbed shoulders with the likes of football star David Beckham and other sporting celebrities as brand ambassador and poster-boy of a leading footwear company for their international campaign. Billboards featuring him once used to be prominently displayed on London streets.

Even at this ripe age, Fauja, who got a congratulatory telegram from Queen Elizabeth when he turned 100 in April, does not want to give up running. Born in 1911 in Jalandhar district, he became the world’s oldest half marathon runner at 99 years of age in May last year when he ran in Luxembourg.

“I won't stop running till I die," Fauja had said recently.

The death of his son and earlier of his wife forced Fauja to search for a worthwhile alternative in life. At 89, he took seriously to running. “When he first turned up for training at Redbridge-Essex, he was dressed in a three-piece suit. The coach had to rework everything, including his dress,” Khushwant said.


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