New Zealand's athlete of last century Sir Peter Snell will compete in the world's biggest multi-sport event in Auckland in April.
77 year old Snell, who won three Olympic gold medals in athletics, will compete in table tennis at the World Masters Games.
Snell will join an estimated 25,000 participants ranging in age from 25 to 101 for the week long event.
Most famous for his 800m and1500m heroics at the Tokyo and Rome Olympics in the 1960s, Snell's track days are long over but he's still as competitive as ever in his chosen sport of table tennis. He and wife Miki will both compete in Auckland.
A keen player of racquet sports since his childhood in Taranaki, Sir Peter has played tennis, badminton, squash and took up racketball when he moved to the United States. Following his collapse on the racketball court six years ago and a subsequent cardiomyopathy diagnosis, he has taken up table tennis with his wife and they play and practice three times a week for two to three hours at a time.
"Both of us are very competitive and like to win, although against the Chinese who have been playing since they were kids, this is tough to do in Texas," he says.
In typical Snell style, he and Miki have fashioned a winning record, finishing in the top four in the state championship in the 75+ age category and qualifying for the US Championships in Birmingham, Alabama, in June.
"We're looking forward to competing at World Masters Games 2017 in Auckland. It's a great opportunity to come back to New Zealand for a visit and the Games' goal of encouraging participation in sport throughout life reflects our passion 100%," Sir Peter says.
He will be hoping to be on the podium in at least one of the 3,000+ medal ceremonies that will take place across 28 sports (45 disciplines) at 48 venues throughout Auckland and in Cambridge during WMG2017.
Participants from 80 countries have registered so far with Australia leading the charge internationally, followed by Canada and the United States.
Participation spots in Archery, Softball, Football, Golf and Hockey sold out several months ago and organisers say Orienteering, Shooting, Squash, Mountain Bike and Pool Swimming are next in line.