As she begins her final backstroke lap, Mieko Nagaoka swiftly cuts into the clear waters.
What stands out is that she is a centenarian who will soon be turning 102 years and she says she is not yet done.
“ How old am I ? I am 101 years, yes 101 years! I would like to swim until I am 105 years,” she said.
How old am I ? I am 101 years, yes 101 years! I would like to swim until I am 105 years
She added that her secret is staying active, eating and sleeping well.
Her 76 year old son, Hiroyuki Nagaoka, says that she has this goal, this reason to live- swimming- which is perhaps the the secret to her long life.
Nagaoka, who has amassed a string of world bests in her age bracket, only took up the sport in her late eighties and her coach is all praises of her.
She trains three times a week in Yamaguchi, southwest Japan, under the tutelage of her long-time coach Shintaro Sawada
“She is someone who knows where she wants to go, and will do what is necessary to achieve it. She has the drive to overcome challenges,” said Sawada.
As most people slow down with age, Nagaoka believes she will continue smashing records.