International

Guinness Balks At Handing 100-Year-Old Marathoner His Record

Fauja Singh, 100, celebrates at the finish line after completing the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in Toronto on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011. i i

Fauja Singh, 100, celebrates at the finish line after completing the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in Toronto on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011.

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon/AP
Fauja Singh, 100, celebrates at the finish line after completing the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in Toronto on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011.

Fauja Singh, 100, celebrates at the finish line after completing the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in Toronto on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011.

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon/AP

Fauja Singh, the 100-year-old man who completed the Toronto Marathon, is being denied his place in the Guinness World Records. Guinness says he has not been able to produce a birth certificate, which it requires to certify a record.

But Singh has a passport and a letter from the Queen of England herself congratulating him on his 100th birthday.

Here's the BBC, which broke the story, today:

Fauja Singh is said to hold a number of world records, but the BBC's 5 live Investigates programme has learned that none of these records has been ratified by Guinness World Records.

His British passport, showing his date of birth as being 1 April 1911, as well as a letter from the Queen congratulating Mr Singh on his 100th birthday, have been shown to the organisation. But it says these are not considered sufficient proof of age.

A letter from Indian government officials stating that no birth records were kept in 1911, and a statement from a former neighbour in India, have also been passed to Guinness World Records, but the organisation says these too are not evidence enough.

If you need a refresher, Mark brought us the news last week that Singh, an Indian-born British citizen, had run the 26.2 miles in just over 8 hours, 11 minutes.

Over at Runner's World, Mark Remy chastises Guinness for daring to slow down the Turbaned Tornado.

"A letter from the Queen isn't sufficient?" Remy writes. "Come on! Just... look at him! He's gotta be 100 years old! At least! Did you not see the man's beard?"

If Guinness can't be moved, the AP reports, his record will likely be recognized by World Masters Athletics.

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