KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 27 — A septuagenarian in Japan proves that age is just a number as she sets her sights for her 20th World Bench Press Championship.

Chiyomi Sawa, who took up the sport when she was 49 years old, won her 19th World Bench Press Championship in October where she lifted 100 kilograms to win the 69-76 kilogramme weight class, SoraNews24 reported.

Sawa, now 72, was fairly active in sports, especially softball in which she developed a strong throwing arm, in her younger days.

Her softball days, however, came to an end when she started working as a lunch lady at a pre-school at the age of 27.

When she approached her 50s, an annual medical check-up found that her less active lifestyle had rendered her to become overweight and Sawa decided to join aerobics.

She later added weight training into her routine and a trainer asked if she wanted to try for the bench press.

Sawa managed to lift 50 kilogrammes in her maiden try and has never looked back since.

After retiring from working as a lunch lady, Sawa devoted more time to focus on the sport, making her an even fiercer competitor despite her age.

The mother of two told local media that she was contemplating stopping when she achieves her 20th win but has yet to fix a definite date for her retirement from the sport.