Veteran Olympians still at the top

PARIS, Aug 03, 2008 (AFP) – Time and tide wait for no man, or do they? Beijing-bound athletes Jeannie Longo, Haile Satayin, Hiroshi Hoketsu, Dara Torres, James Tomkins and Susan Nattrass have shown getting older does not rule out Olympic participation at the highest level.

French cyclist Longo, Ethiopian-born Israeli Satayin, who runs in the marathon, Japanese equestrian ace Hoketsu, American swimmer Torres, Australian rower Tomkins and Canadian shooter Nattrass will be among the more senior athletes at the August 8-24 Games in Beijing.

Longo clinched a place to compete in her seventh Olympics at the age of 49.

The five-time world champion staked her claim with an outstanding win in both the road race and time-trial at the French National Championships in June.

The 1996 Olympic road race champion has competed in every Games since women’s cycling was first introduced.

She will compete in both the road race and time-trail races in Beijing.

Her dedication and commitment is legendary and no doubt she owes her longevity to both of those qualities.