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Emma Maria Mazzenga, born on Aug. 1, 1933, is known as the world’s fastest 90-year-old woman sprinter. She recently set a world record in the 90 and over age group by running the 200 meters outdoors in 51.47 seconds. Mazzenga has an impressive track record, holding five world records, nine European records, and 28 best Italian performances in various categories of Masters sprinting. With Italy having the oldest population in the European Union, it’s fitting that they are home to such an accomplished athlete in Mazzenga.

Mazzenga’s latest world record in the 90 and over age group came as a surprise to her, as she modestly stated that she didn’t think she went that fast. Her record-breaking run on May 5 beat the previous record set by Japan’s Emiko Saito in 2022. Mazzenga’s accomplishments in the world of Masters sprinting are impressive, especially considering her age. She continues to push herself and set new records, showcasing her dedication to the sport.

Athletes like Mazzenga often have precise rituals when it comes to racing. For Mazzenga, she runs without socks and never wears the same shoes as she does for training. She also enjoys celebrating her successes with a beer alongside fellow runners, even though she often has no direct competitors in her age category. Running has been a source of comfort for Mazzenga in her later years, helping her through difficult times and allowing her to be surrounded by a community of people.

Mazzenga’s running career as a Masters athlete began when she was 53 years old, after years of not running when she got married and had children. She has found a renewed passion for running and has used it as a way to stay active and engaged in her later years. Mazzenga’s outlook on her future races is focused on doing her best and achieving good times rather than solely on winning, showing her dedication to the sport and her continual improvement.

Despite her age, Mazzenga is not slowing down in her athletic pursuits. Her upcoming commitments include the Italian championships starting in June, and she has her sights set on the world championships in Sweden next year. While she prefers not to make long-term plans, Mazzenga’s dedication to running and setting new records shows no signs of diminishing. Her record-breaking achievements serve as an inspiration to many, proving that age is just a number when it comes to pursuing one’s passions.

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