99-year-old woman sets 100m sprint world record at Gay Games

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A 99-year-old woman has set a 100 metre sprint world record at the Gay Games in Cleveland.

Ida Keeling, who is a great-great-grandmother, became the first person to complete an internationally certified 100 metre sprint in the 95-99 age category.

Wearing lyrca running pants and trainers, Ida Keeling finished the race in a 59.8 seconds – a little bit shy of Usain Bolt’s global world record of 9.58 seconds, but still setting the barrier for her age group.

It was Keeling’s first appearance at the Gay Games event, which debuted in San Francisco in 1982.

Of the younger athletes at the event, Ms Keeling joked: “I feel much younger than they do.”

Her daughter, Shelley Keeling said: “Mum is amazing even to me I have to admit that. She is a remarkable human being.”

She added that her mother sees the Gay Games “just as running with other runners”.

It is the not the first record that Keeling has broken, smashing her age group’s record for the 60 meters sprint in 2011, with a time of 29.86 seconds.

Ms Keeling said previously: “I feel like a puppy. I feel younger now than when I was in my 30s and 40s.

“It felt good, and I felt uplifted. I said, ‘Well, gee, this is for me’.”

“Every year I am going to keep doing what I am doing, and when running time comes, if I feel I am ready, I will go at it.”

President Barack Obama made a surprise appearance in the Games’ opening ceremony, recording a special video message to welcome people to the event.

Earlier this week New Zealand speed skater Blake Skjellerup revealed that he is engaged, a day after carrying the torch at the Gay Games Opening Ceremony.

Watch a clip below: