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Oldest surviving Olympian Guo Jie dies at 103

Published 17/11/2015

A discus thrower statue welcomes athletes to the Athens games in 2004
A discus thrower statue welcomes athletes to the Athens games in 2004

Guo Jie, a former Chinese discus thrower who was the world's oldest surviving Olympian, has died at 103.

The Xi'an Institute of Physical Education, where he was a coach and instructor, said he died on Sunday.

Guo represented China in the discus at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin after setting a national record the year before. At the Berlin Games, he produced a personal best throw of 41.13 metres but failed to make the final.

Born in the eastern port city of Dalian in 1912, Guo studied agricultural science and technology at Tokyo University. In the 1950s he worked at the physical education institute in the northern city of Xi'an.

Chinese Business View, a Xi'an newspaper, said Guo had studied the health of the elderly after he retired. In his 80s, he organised a survey of old people in Xi'an who did morning exercises, which was conducted by teachers of sports medicine and physiology.

He also wrote a book about the role of aerobic exercise in preventing cardiovascular disease.

Guo carried the Olympic torch during the relay through Xi'an ahead of the 2008 Beijing Games.

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