Friday, 4 October 2013

Smoking secrets of oldest man

A Cambodian tiger hunter said to be the world's oldest man has died at the age of 122, according to his relatives.

Sek Yi, who was also a martial arts expert, attributed his longevity and that of his 108-year-old wife Long Ouk, to smoking and the power of prayer.

In an interview a few days before his death, he said: "When I was young I used to chew betel, but people made fun of me saying I was like a woman, so I took up smoking."

His records were destroyed by Khmer Rouge guerillas during the "Killing Fields" persecution in the 1970s. But researchers believe he was born in 1881.

That was the year Wyatt Earp and his brothers shot down the Clanton gang in the gunfight at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona.

In Britain, Lillie Langtry, the Prince of Wales's mistress, made her debut as an actress at the Haymarket Theatre in London, while in New York, Thomas Edison switched on the first electric lights, supplying 85 customers.

When he was 21, British Forces were winning the Boer War, while a London to Folkestone trial was organised to show cars could be a reliable means of transport.

As World War II broke out, Sek Yi was already 58.

In his later years, he was revered in Cambodia for his great age.

His family said he died peacefully in his sleep after a short illness.

He will be buried next Monday in his village, Tuk Young, about 120 miles from the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh.

The oldest fully authenticated age for any human is the 122 years and 164 days of Frenchwoman Jeanne-Louise Calment, who died in 1997.


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