Stanisław Kowalski

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Stanislaw Kowalski
Kowalski at age 105 in 2015
Personal information
Born(1910-04-14)14 April 1910
Rogówek, Congress Poland, Russian Empire
Died(2022-04-05)5 April 2022
(aged 111 years, 356 days)
Świdnica, Poland
OccupationMasters Athlete (M105 age division)
Country Poland
  • sprinting
  • shot put
  • discus throw
Event(s)Polish Veterans Championships in Toruń, 28 June 2015

Stanisław Kowalski (14 April 1910 – 5 April 2022) was a Polish supercentenarian masters athlete who, aged 105, became the oldest ever competing athlete in the newly formed M105 age division (ages 105–109) in sprinting, shot put, and discus throw.

Early life[edit]

Kowalski was born on 14 April 1910, in the village of Rogówek, then part of Congress Poland within the Russian Empire, where he lived until the end of the 1930s. After his marriage, he moved to Brzeźnica. In 1952, due to the broadening of the boundaries of the military training ground, he had to move out of his newly built house and live in Lower Silesia, in the village of Krzydlina Wielka, where he ran a small farm and worked as a railroad lineman. He lived in Świdnica from 1979 until his death.[1] Kowalski's mother lived to be 99. For decades, Kowalski rode to work on a bicycle regardless of the weather outside.[2]

Masters athlete career[edit]

When he competed at the Polish Veterans Championships on 28 June 2015 in Toruń, Poland, he became the world's oldest athlete. On that day, Kowalski ran the 100 metres in 34.50, put the shot 4.27 m (14 ft 0 in) and threw the discus 7.50 m (24 ft 7+14 in).[3]

By competing in those events, he surpassed the accomplishments of American John Whittemore, who competed at 104 years 10 months. By virtue of his age being beyond 105 years old, he necessitated the creation of a new age division for World Masters Athletics, the M105 division was created and he was the only member to have competed. Thus all of his performances are world records. Hidekichi Miyazaki, a Japanese M100 sprinter, turned 105 on 22 September 2015 and two days later joined Kowalski as the second competitor in the division,[4] although Kowalski was 77 days older when he competed.[note 1] Miyazaki died on 23 January 2019.

Aged 104, Kowalski was lauded as the oldest person in Europe to run 100m after running a race in Wroclaw, Poland, on 10 May 2014.[7] He finished in 32.79 seconds, beating the previous record holder, aged 96 at the time, by over a second.[8] He credited his longevity to never going to the physician and doing whatever he wanted. He also said not to eat much during the evening.[9][10]


On 14 April 2010, Kowalski turned 100 years old, becoming a centenarian. He became the oldest living man in Poland after the death of 108 year old Józef Żurek on 20 March 2018.[11] On 14 April 2020, he turned 110 years old, becoming a supercentenarian.[12][13] He died on 5 April 2022, aged 111 years and 356 days, nine days before his 112th birthday.[14]



  1. ^ Guinness World Records has not certified Kowalski's record, but done Miyazaki's.[5][6]


  1. ^ Staff (16 April 2018). "Zaczął karierę sportową, mając 104 lata. Najstarszy lekkoatleta w Polsce obchodzi urodziny" (in Polish). Gazeta Wyborcza. Archived from the original on 22 October 2018. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  2. ^ Małgorzata Moczulska (16 April 2018). "Stanisław Kowalski kończy 108 lat! Jest mistrzem świata i najstarszym biegaczem na Ziemi [ZDJĘCIA]" (in Polish). Gazeta Wrocławska. Archived from the original on 21 June 2018. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  3. ^ "".
  4. ^ "World's Oldest Sprinter Sets New Record at 105". NBC News. Archived from the original on 17 August 2019. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  5. ^ Zaccardi, Nick (26 September 2015). "Hidekichi Miyazaki, 105, not the true Guinness World Record holder". NBC Sports. NBC Universal. Archived from the original on 18 May 2022. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  6. ^ "Oldest competitive sprinter". Guinness World Records Limited. Archived from the original on 14 May 2022. Retrieved 14 May 2022.
  7. ^ "104-Year-Old Man Runs 100-Meter Race". Runner's World. 13 May 2014. Archived from the original on 30 January 2017. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  8. ^ Ian Hughes (12 May 2014). "Stanislaw Kowalski: Pensioner is the oldest person in Europe to run 100m race - Mirror Online". mirror. Archived from the original on 4 February 2022. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  9. ^ "Pensioner Stanisław Kowalski becomes oldest man to run 100m in Europe at 104 - Metro News". Metro. 11 May 2014. Archived from the original on 8 July 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  10. ^ "Stanislaw Kowalski, 104-Year-Old Runner, Breaks Record for 100-Meter Dash in Europe". 14 May 2014. Archived from the original on 8 July 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  11. ^ Tomasz Więcławski (22 March 2018). "Pogrzeb najstarszego mężczyzny w Polsce - Józefa Żurka" (in Polish). Interia. Archived from the original on 8 February 2019. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  12. ^ Stone, Ken (14 April 2020). "Stanisław Kowalski turns 110, could be first athlete ever in that milestone age group". Masters Track & Field News. Archived from the original on 20 January 2022. Retrieved 8 April 2022.
  13. ^ "Stanisław Kowalski ze Świdnicy skończył dziś 110 lat" (in Polish). 14 April 2020. Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  14. ^ Stanisław Kowalski nie żyje. Najstarszy mężczyzna w Polsce za kilka dni skończyłby 112 lat Archived 5 April 2022 at the Wayback Machine (in Polish)