German speed skater Claudia Pechstein has become the oldest ever female Winter Olympian at 49 years of age.
Pechstein, competing in her eighth games, set the record when she raced in the 3000m speed skating event on Saturday.
She overtakes luger Anne Abernathy, who was 48 years old when she competed in the 2002 Games at Salt Lake City.
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Pechstein carried the flag for Germany and, while she finished last in her event, can reflect proudly on a career that also saw her become the first woman to win medals at five consecutive Winter Games, starting in Albertville in 1992. She has a total of nine Olympic medals, including five golds.
"The result of today was not so important, it was just to race and to be here. I am super proud," Pechstein said.
"I was not too fast but I smiled because today I got my goal to race in my eighth Olympic Games. This was important for me."
Pechstein has now tied for the record of most Winter Olympic games, level on eight with Japanese ski jumper Noriaki Kasai who retired after Pyeongchang four years ago.
And it could have been nine were she not banned for two years by the International Skating Union and missed the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver after abnormal blood levels indicated doping.
The only downside for Pechstein on Saturday was that her own Olympic record in the 3000m - set 20 years ago in Salt Lake City - was broken by race winner Irene Schouten.
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