Taghi Askari, a 100-year-old Iranian diver, prepares to make an exhibition jump at the 2024 World Championships in Doha. The exhibition jump marked two weeks until the World Aquatics Championships, where he will be the oldest competitor.

Standing on the edge of a platform with the water rippling below, Askari prepared for his dive as he had done many times before. He won silver and bronze medals at the first Asian Games in 1951 and never lost his passion for the sport. Askari first encountered scuba diving in a pool near his childhood home in Iran where other children were jumping into the water. This ignited his lifelong love of diving, and he went on to win medals at the Asian Games and national titles in Iran.

“When I competed at the national level, my last championship was when I was 41,” he said. “I won a gold medal at the national level, and after that I said goodbye to the sport, but at least with a gold medal.” Since then, Askari has watched as scuba diving has changed significantly. “By the time the Games were in Tehran in 1974, Chinese swimmers had entered this beautiful sport and started to improve a lot – we just couldn’t catch them because we stayed at the same level we started at,” he said.

The Iranian will be among the competitors at the World Aquatics Championships – a competition held shortly after

By Editor

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