Meet the 72-year-old ex-sprinter who chased a teenage handbag thief

February 13th, 2009 - 6:36 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Feb 13 (ANI): A teenage girl thief was taken by surprise when her victim, a 72-year-old ex-sprinter, chased her after she ran off with her bag.

When Jean Hirst, a former championship sprinter, started chasing the girl, she had to throw down the bag in her desperation to escape.

Hirst, a retired teacher, had allowed three teenage girls into her car to help her with directions after getting lost on the way to a theatre.

However, she was back to her sprinting days when one of the girls tried to make off with her bag.

“Suddenly I felt 18 again. The adrenaline just kicked in and I seemed to turn back the years, the Telegraph quoted Hirst as saying.

She added: “She had a head start but I covered 70 yards in about 15 seconds and was within two strides of her when she looked over her shoulder and saw me. She probably thought I was an easy target but she shouldn”t have judged a book by its cover. The look on her face was one of sheer amazement and she just threw my bag aside.”

Hirst, a widow, from Mansfield, Notts, then stopped and picked up the bag, which she described as containing her “whole life”, including her purse, keys and address book.

At the age of 17, she was the Nottinghamshire County Schools 100 yards champion and qualified for the final of All England Schools Championship in Ashington, Northumberland. (ANI)

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