Taghi Askari, a 100-year-old Iranian swimmer, is set to compete in the World Aquatics Masters Championships in Doha, Qatar. He has won medals at national and international levels since he first encountered diving as a teenager at a swimming pool near his childhood home. The sport has changed significantly since his early days, but Askari’s passion for diving remains unwavering.
Askari first encountered diving when he was just a teenager at a swimming pool near his childhood home in Iran where other children were somersaulting into the water. This sparked a lifelong love of diving for him and he went on to win medals at the Asian Games and national titles. In 1974, when the games were held in Tehran, China had entered the sport and improved by leaps and bounds. Despite this, Askari continued to compete and won a gold medal at the national level before retiring from the sport.
Now, more than two decades later, Askari is back in competition at the World Aquatics Masters Championships – a competition held shortly after the elite world championships open to participants aged over 25. He is among several competitors who have competed at an elite level and are now competing again at an age when many retire from competitive sports altogether. Askari says that despite his age, he still loves diving as much as ever and hopes to continue competing for many years to come.