Love for racing runs in grandpa’s blood


eric@thestar.com.my 

"It is part and parcel of an athlete to face the ups and downs in a competition" – Tamin Merican 

GRANDPA Mohamed Tamin Merican is a merry old man with a passion for running. 

He loves to race even now – at age 73. 

Tamin, who hails from Kota Baru, has just returned home with a bronze medal that he won at the 2nd World Masters Athletics indoor championships in Lind, Austria. It was held from March 15 to 20.  

Tamin Merican goes sprawling to the tracks during the 60m sprint event at the World Masters Athletics indoor championshipsin Austria last month.

The medal is not his first. He has won many more from the countless veteran meets he has participated in around the world since 1949. 

And, after 57 years of active racing, Tamin is not calling it quits. 

“I am enjoying every minute of the races,” he said. “I simply feel on top of the world when I do.”  

In Austria, Tamin clocked 29.76s in the 200m to snatch the bronze from a field of 20 runners. 

“It is competitive and there were three heats before advancing to the final. I qualified for it under the 70-74 age category,” said Tamin. 

A total of 3,336 veteran athletes congregated in Austria for the championship. They were classified under the different age categories that ranged from 35-39 years, 40-44 years till the oldest category of 100-104. 

Tamin, who finished behind a German and English participant in the last race, however, had a bad experience. He suffered a muscle-pull in the 60m-sprint event. 

“I was leading in second place and towards the end I could not bear the pain and tumbled, lost my footing and crashed to the tracks,” he said.  

“Fortunately, it was only a minor bruise,” he added. 

“It is part and parcel of an athlete to face the ups and downs in a competition.”  

Despite his age, Tamin said his enthusiasm for athletics had never waned.  

He keeps fit by running regularly. Tamin’s routine includes running 300m up and down slopes, climbing steps and working out at his make-shift gymnasium at home.  

“I am an all rounder,” said Tamin. “I have broken records in various meets for long jump, high jump and sprint events. 

Tamin has raced in the World Veteran Athletic championships in Puerto Rico in 1983. At the time, he was running under the 50-54 age category.  

He picked up the silver in the 4x100m. Tamin teamed up with runners from Puerto Rico and Mexico.  

He finished sixth in the 100m (11.95s), fifth in the 200m (27.6s), fifth in long-jump (5.54m) and fifth in high-jump (1.55m). 

Tamin’s most memorable event was his first veteran meet in Singapore in 1982 when he broke three championship records – gold in the 100m (12.9s), gold in the high-jump (1.55m) and gold in the long-jump (4.80m). 

The following year, Tamin participated in the 2nd Asian Veteran championship in India and also broke three records in the 100m (12.3s), 200m (27.6s) and high-jump (1.55m). 

In his course of racing from country to country, Tamin is self-funded. Sometimes he depends on well wishes and sponsors for each meet, which he follows in the Internet.  

To date, he has been to competitions in Bangkok, Puerto Rico, China, Australia, Brunei, England, Italy, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong.  

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