91-year-old Israeli Holocaust Survivor Wins World Championship for Senior Runners

Semion Simkin from Ma'aleh Adumim beat his only competitor, even though he is legally blind.

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Semion Simkin at the Tiberias Marathon in 2011.
Semion Simkin at the Tiberias Marathon in 2011.Credit: Gil Eliyahu

A 91-year-old Israeli Holocaust survivor won the world championship for senior runners in Lyon, France on Monday, running 10 kilometers in one hour and 20 minutes.

Semion Simkin's feat was made even more impressive, considering that he is legally blind, and can only see three meters in front of him, Yisrael Hayom reported.

Only two runners competed in the race for men between the ages of 90 and 95. Simkin beat his only competitor, a 93-year-old Argentinian, by 21 minutes and 26 seconds.

"This is a scenario I never even dreamed of. I hope that in the future I will still have the strength to continue and to bring honor to Israel," Simkin told Yisrael Hayom.

Originally from Belarus, Simkin survived the Holocaust. He has two children, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, and lives in the settlement of Ma'aleh Adumim near Jerusalem.

The day before the 10k race, Simkin won the silver medal in the 5 kilometers race, with a time of 39 minutes and 47 seconds, merely five seconds behind the winner, the Portuguese Jose Canelo, 90.

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