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Hiroshi Hoketsu abandons bid to become oldest Olympian ever, reports say

Hiroshi Hoketsu

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02: Hiroshi Hoketsu of Japan riding Whisper competes in the Dressage Grand Prix on Day 6 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Greenwich Park on August 2, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

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Dressage rider Hiroshi Hoketsu will not become the oldest competing Olympian of all time in Rio after his horse fell ill, according to several Japanese reports.

“I don’t want to push the horse, so unfortunately I have given up upon the dream of competing in the Rio Olympics,” Hoketsu said, according to Kyodo News. “There’s nothing decided about the future. First I’d like to prioritize getting the horse well again.”

Hoketsu, 75 and the oldest Olympian at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Games, sought to make his fourth Olympic team.

Hoketsu debuted at the Olympics at Tokyo 1964. Then he went 44 years between Games appearances. He finished 41st out of 50 competitors in individual dressage at London 2012, according to

The oldest Olympian is Swede Oscar Swahn, who earned 1920 Olympic shooting silver at age 72.

MORE: 70-year-old U.S. equestrian eyes Rio Olympics

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