Rider, 70, qualifies for London

2012-03-04 14:09

Tokyo - Japanese equestrian rider Hiroshi Hoketsu has qualified for a spot at the London Olympics at the age of 70.

Hoketsu, who will turn 71 on March 28, qualified by winning an international dressage meet in France on Thursday. Japanese equestrian officials are expected to announce in the next few weeks whether he will actually compete in London.

Hoketsu, who is based in Germany and competed in the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, become Japan's oldest Olympian when he took part in the 2008 Beijing Olympics at the age of 67.

The oldest Olympian was Swedish shooter Oscar Swahn, who won a silver medal at the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium, at 72. It was his sixth medal in three games.

In Beijing, Hoketsu finished ninth in the dressage team event and 35th in the individual competition. He also qualified for the 1988 Seoul Olympics but was unable to compete when his horse was quarantined.

Before Hoketsu, the oldest Japanese Olympic athlete was equestrian rider Kikuko Inoue, who took part in the dressage in Seoul aged 63 years and nine months.