South African sprinter Philip Rabinowitz dies at age 104

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Philip "Flying Phil" Rabinowitz was a sprinter from South Africa who, on July 10, 2004, entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the fastest 100-year-old in the 100 meters.

He was born on February 16, 1904 in Lithuania to a Jewish family and died on February 28, 2008, aged 104.

Rabinowitz finished in a time of 30.86 seconds; breaking the previous mark of 36.19 set by Erwin Jaskulski of Austria. A week before, the centenarian broke the record, but a faulty electronic timer kept the mark out of the books.

For comparison, the world record for the men's 100 meters —9.74 seconds— was set by Asafa Powell of Jamaica at the age of 24.