Centenarian Fauja Singh’s record-setting completion of the Toronto Waterfront Marathon won’t be record-setting, after all. Guinness World Records will not recognize Fauja Singh’s achievement because he cannot present a birth certificate – a document that was not produced in India in 1911 – to prove the year of his birth. His passport and other documented evidence is not acceptable to Guinness.
His trainer, Harmandar Singh, suggests that there is a disconnect in recognizing the status of developing nations:
Harmandar Singh, says he thinks recognition by Guinness World Records is important: “I think it’s important to everybody who’s over a certain age, because it inspires them and allows them to think ‘yes, it is possible’.
“However, the fact remains that the Guinness Book of Records has its rules, and I think they are quite right to have them.”
“However, in the developing countries, their standards simply aren’t up to western standards.”
Guinness certainly has that right, but it’s unfortunate that they’ve decided to play party-pooper to Fauja Singh’s inspirational run.