World Masters Athletic Championships: 96-year-old hopes to break world record

World Masters Athletic Championships: 96-year-old hopes to break world record

AS Arthur Carbon takes to the track at the World Masters Athletics Championship, it will be a return half a century in the making.

Mr Carbon, who turns 96 on October 26, is set to compete in the 100m, 200m and 400m sprints at the championships, and hopes to smash a world record in the process.

The former soldier and wharf worker said he had always loved to run, and on the docks he competed in the Waterside Workers Handicap, a footrace worth 30 pounds and a trophy for the winner.

“When I came out of the Army I got a job on the Wharf and I stayed there for 20 years…I was the only member to run the handicap every year for 20 years,” he said.

“I won it twice; I was eight times second and three times third.”

Mr Carbon, a father of six, grandfather of 16 and great-grandfather to 26, said sport was always important to his family.

“I was always a runner and used to be a football boundary umpire,” he said.

“All our family, my eldest boy was a champion runner, another was a champion golfer and another was a champion swimmer.”

Mr Carbon’s granddaughter Sally Carbon was a former Hockeyroo, who played in two Olympic campaigns.

When it came to participating in the championships, Mr Carbon said it was his daughter who encouraged him to enrol.

“All our family have been sportsmen and my daughter is a doctor and her husband is in the Australian Sports Federation, and they put me in to run the hundred (metres) so I decided if I was to do that I’d run in the 200m and 400m too,” Mr Carbon said.

“I haven’t run, or competed for 50 years so in the past month I have been training.”

Training has included jogs around the park and weekly visits to the Riverton Leisureplex, where he runs on the treadmill and rides the exercise bikes.

The social outlet resulted in the popular runner accruing a group of passionate supporters.

Mr Carbon said while his supporters hoped to see him break the 100m world record of 25.9 seconds, he was not sure he could make it; but he was happy with the joy training and making new friends had brought.

“I believe the 25.9 seconds, I don’t think I’ll break it, I haven’t trained hard enough,” he said.

“I’m feeling better with the exercise, I’ll continue to run but I don’t think I’d go overseas to run, I’ve met a lot of new friends and I’ve always had a lot of friends in sport, sport keeps you out of trouble.”

Mr Carbon, who recently moved to Canning Vale from Bateman, said his secret was family and friends.

“I’ve never smoked and I only drink in moderation,” he said.