OCTOGENARIAN Mally Richards has been honoured with a certificate commemorating his "unprecedented world record in the sport of open water swimming".
The 80-year-old, of Jeffreys Bay, completed his 60th Spar River Mile at the weekend, and in recognition of his achievement the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (IMSHF) awarded him the certificate.
At the prize-giving ceremony, Richards was presented with his IMSHF certificate together with a R5000 Spar shopping voucher, an SAB hamper and a special gold medal by Spar Eastern Cape marketing director Martin Webber.
Webber said Richards's achievement was "something outstanding".
"It's only right to recognise this fantastic achievement of someone who consistently performs," Webber said.
Richards said he was proud to have completed yet another mile.
Richards, who swims 800 metres every day from Monday to Friday, said he was in good health despite a "pinched nerve in my leg".
He will continue to train next summer. "If I can walk up to the start line I will swim the River Mile again," he said.
Richards was joined in the River Mile by his son, Kevin and Kevin's two sons, Sean, 14, and Marc, 10.
The Uitenhage-born Richards, a former Muir College pupil, started swimming at the age of 14 and swam his first River Mile in 1947.
The hall of fame's chief administrator, Steven Munatones, told Richards in a letter he was "one of those individuals in the open water swimming community whose accomplishments not only are beyond belief, but also give good people hope that they too can live a healthy life".
"You have set the bar in the open water swimming world in your 60th River Mile today. This achievement requires an unbelievable level of commitment, a pure joy of swimming and ongoing attention to your physical wellness. I salute you as you leave a remarkable legacy and are an inspiration to people around the world."