TAGHI ASKARI has plunged back into diving aged 100 – 41 years after bowing out already as a golden oldie.
He won silver and gold at the first ever Asian Games in 1951 – before retiring as Iran’s national champion in 1983.
ReutersTaghi Askari wowed watchers at the event in Doha[/caption]
ReutersHe dived in before a final of a women’s 3m springboard event[/caption]
Askari enjoys the reception after his plunge at the Hamad Aquatic CentreReuters
ReutersThe Iranian was warmly received for his performance[/caption]
Now he’s returned to the sport on another big stage – to the delight of a crowd in Qatar.
Askari leapt off the 3m springboard in a special display marking a two-week countdown to the World Aquatics Masters Championships in Doha.
He was given a medal for his achievement – and insists his love for diving is as great as ever.
Not surprisingly Askari is the oldest person in the pool at the Masters.
And he warmed up for his comeback by explaining his pride at his achievements, as well as his motivation for doing it all again.
Askari’s career hit the crest of a wave 73 years ago.
That year he picked up two medals across six events at the inaugural Asian Games in New Delhi.
Since then, the number of competitors at the continent’s sporting feast has swelled from 489 to 11,935 in 2022.
Askari told worldaquatics.com: “The first time I attended in 1951 the level of diving in Iran was very high.
“But by the time the games were in Tehran in 1974 the Chinese swimmers had entered this beautiful sport and they started to improve by a lot.
“We just couldn’t catch them as we stayed at the same level we started at.”
Eventually he quit the sport – competitively at least – 41 years ago.
He said: “I achieved a gold medal at the national level, and after that, I said goodbye to the sport, but at least with a gold medal.”
And of his return to the sport on a big stage, he added: “For me, I have had a love of diving since I was a teenager until today.
“I have always loved diving. Nothing has changed between 1951 and now, except my performance!”
ReutersAskari rolled back the years as he jumped off the board[/caption]
ReutersHe walked back with pride after his dive[/caption]