Table Tennis Fiend, 101, Sets Record as Oldest Olympic Torchbearer

NOVOSIBIRSK, December 7 (RIA Novosti/R-Sport) – A 101-year-old table tennis player became the oldest torchbearer in Olympic history Saturday, carrying the flame for the Sochi 2014 Games through the Siberian city of Novosibirsk.

Alexander Kaptarenko, who was born in St. Petersburg in 1912, rehearsed for the 200 meter run using a frozen fish in place of the Olympic torch. He covered the distance with no reported problems Saturday.

The previous age record was set by Dinah Gould, who was 100 when she carried the Olympic flame through a suburb of London in May 2012 ahead of the Summer Olympics in the city.

Kaptarenko, who was born under the Tsars and outlived the Soviet Union, has participated in several international table tennis tournaments and continued the sport into his old age. His last appearance was at the 2012 European veterans championships in Sweden when he was 100 years old.

The 2014 Olympic torch relay began on Red Square in Moscow on October 7. Around 14,000 torchbearers are carrying the flame along its 56,000km journey that will end in the Black Sea resort of Sochi for the opening ceremony of the Games on February 7.

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