Amazingly athletic 84-year-old from Leeds wins three medals in European Masters

An amazingly athletic OAP from Leeds has won three medals in the European Masters cementing his title as the fastest 84-year-old in the world.

By Abbey Maclure
Tuesday, 22nd October 2019, 7:00 am

He represented Team GB at the European Masters in Italy last month and came away with three medals after competing in the 80 to 84 age category.

The octogenarian grabbed the gold in the hurdles, where he sprinted along an 80m track jumping two-and-a-quarter feet hurdles in only 16.8 seconds.

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84-year-old Tony Bowman, from Leeds, has won three medals in the European Masters - despite having had TWO heart attacks

Tony also got the silver medal in the 400m relay, bronze in decathlon and came fourth in the 100m and fifth in the 200m.

The determined OAP refuses to take it easy after having problems with his ticker - and he continues to smash world records at competitions around the globe.

He said: "It is the younger athletes that are beating me. There is no 84-year-old faster than me in the UK - no, the world."

When Tony first entered the 80-84 age category he broke 11 British athletics records, one European and one international, for track events including the decathlon and both indoor and outdoor pentathlon.

Tony's athletic achievements are all part of a packed life for the octogenarian, who also loves hockey, tennis and ballroom dancing

Grandad-of-one Tony said: "I am looking forward to doing this again next year when I get into the next age category, when I turn 85."

All this comes despite the fact he had two heart attacks in his 70s, in which he had stents fitted after heart surgery, and has since been treated for abnormal heart rhythm.

He added: "I can't let my heart get in the way of my training. When I am sprinting I have to give it my absolute all, my heart is the last thing on my mind," he said.

The hearts attacks did put Tony back, but once he was fighting fit his comeback race in 2007 saw him win historical Musselburgh New Year Sprint, in East Lothian, Scotland, gaining the title of the oldest winner by 30 years.

-> Leeds mum welcomes baby boy ten weeks after her waters brokeHe staves off ill health by training every other day, dancing and playing hockey.

Tony also recently cut down on alcohol and chocolate to help him in his ambition to run 100m at 100, and living to 120.

He said: "I've heard alcohol can lead to dementia and I don't want that. I've cut down to one glass of wine every other day.

"I now have to stay as fit as I can be to keep up my lifestyle.

"I feel like a 50-year-old and life is good.

"I feel very blessed I have good genes but I do work hard at keeping fit, of course it helps that I love the feeling of running and sweating - especially when I'm winning."

The athletic achievements are all part of a packed life for the octogenarian, who also loves hockey, tennis and ballroom dancing.

The only problem now is he has to pay for his events from his own pension.

He said: "It would be great to get sponsorship as I have to pay for everything myself, from paying for tracksuits to travel, to entry fees.

"I'm doing all of this for my country, a country that I love, and it would be nice to be able to have some help."

Tony continues to compete in Masters events all over the world, with competitions in Portugal and Toronto coming up.

Masters athletics is a class of the sport of athletics for older athletes in track and field, road running and cross country running.

Competitors are bracketed into five-year age groups beginning at 35 for track and field and 40 for distance-running events.

Men as old as 105 and women in their 100s have competed in running, jumping and throwing events.