Taghi Askari, a 100-year-old Iranian diver, is set to compete at the World Aquatics Masters Championships in Doha, Qatar. Askari has a rich history in the sport, having won medals at the first-ever Asian Games in 1951 and never losing his passion for diving. At the upcoming championships, he will be the oldest competitor.
The World Aquatics Masters Championships are held shortly after the elite world championships and are open to participants aged over 25. Standing on the edge of a platform with the water rippling below, Askari prepared to dive like he had done so many times before. For Askari, diving has been a lifelong pursuit beginning as a child in Iran and leading to medals at the Asian Games and national titles. “For me, I have had a love of diving since I was a teenager until today. I have always loved diving. Nothing has changed between 1951 and now, except my performance!” Askari told World Aquatics.
Askari first encountered diving at a swimming pool near his childhood home in Iran, and it ignited a lifelong love of the sport. He has continued to compete and perform in diving events, even winning a gold medal at a national level when he was 41 years old. Despite many changes to the sport over the years, Askari’s passion for diving remained the same. He described significant changes in diving since he first began competing, especially the impact of Chinese swimmers on the sport.