Japanese man qualifies to compete at London 2012 aged 71
• Hiroshi Hoketsu to break record as Japan's oldest Olympian
• Oldest ever Olympian was 72-year-old Swedish marksman
A 70-year-old man has qualified for a place in Japan's Olympic equestrian team. Hiroshi Hoketsu earned qualification after finishing in first place of the International Equestrian Federation's Asia-Oceania dressage rankings.
Hoketsu was the oldest Olympian at the last Games in Beijing and will be 71 by the time the London Games come around, increasing the record he set in 2008 for being the oldest Japanese Olympics competitor ever at 67 years and four months.
Azusa Kitano, a spokeswoman for the Japanese Equestrian Association (JEF), said: "We will make a formal decision on his selection as soon as possible. I understand he is willing to go."
If selected for the Japanese equestrian team it will be the third Olympics Hoketsu has entered. In the 1964 Tokyo Olympics he came 40th in the showjumping event, while four years ago in Beijing he was part of the team that finished ninth. In the individual dressage competition he placed 35th.
Hoketsu also travelled to the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics as a substitute, but did not take part, while at the 1988 Seoul Games his horse had quarantine issues and he was forced to retire.
The oldest Olympian in history was the Swedish marksman Oscar Swahn, who won a silver shooting medal 88 years ago during the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp. He was 72 years and 10 months old.
The dressage events will take place at the Greenwich Park venue in London between 2 August and 9 August with 50 athletes from across the world taking part.