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Guo Jie, oldest surviving Olympian, dies at 103

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BEIJING (AP) — Guo Jie, a former Chinese discus thrower who was the world's oldest surviving Olympian, has died. He was 103.

The Xi'an Institute of Physical Education, where he had served as a coach and instructor, said Guo died Sunday.

Guo represented China in the discus at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin after setting a national record the year before. At the Berlin Games, he produced a personal best throw of 41.13 meters (135 feet, 6 inches) but failed to make the final.

Born in the eastern port city of Dalian in 1912, Guo studied agricultural science and technology at Tokyo University. In the 1950s he served as a coach and instructor at the physical education institute in the northern city of Xi'an.

Chinese Business View, a Xi'an newspaper, said that Guo had studied the health of the elderly after he retired. In his 80s, he organized a survey of old people in Xi'an who did morning exercises, which was conducted by teachers of sports medicine and physiology. He also wrote a book about the role of aerobic exercise in preventing cardiovascular disease.

Guo carried the Olympic torch during the relay through Xi'an ahead of the 2008 Beijing Games.

The statement from the institute said Guo's funeral would be held Tuesday.

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