‘World’s oldest woman’ celebrates 123rd birthday despite experts doubting her

A woman understood to be the world’s oldest person has toasted her upcoming 123rd birthday in Brazil. Amantina dos Santos Duvirgem, 122, was pictured eating cake in Parana State, Brazil, at an event organised by the state’s civic officials.

Pension records show that the unofficial record-holder was born on 22 June 1900, which would make her the world’s oldest person.

The pensioner ate a slice of birthday cake at the gathering in the hall of the Chapel of Sao Sebastiao.

The Guinness World Records does not currently recognise her claim to the title of planet Earth’s oldest person, as she was only given a birth certificate when she started collecting her state pension, with her age being confirmed by four people all over the age of 70.

At present the world record holder is 116-year-old Branyas Morera, an American-Spaniard who had her birthday on March 4 2023.

Branyas took the honour following the death of 118-year-old French nun Sister André earlier this year.

Born in San Francisco in 1907, she moved to Catalonia in Spain as a child.

She has spent the last 22 years in a nursing home in the northern Spanish province.

Branyas has three children of her own, 11 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

She has said her great age is down to “order, tranquillity” and “staying away from toxic people”.

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Her lifespan has included two world wars, the Spanish Civil War, the Spanish flu pandemic as well as the Covid pandemic.

She managed to fight off Covid just weeks after her 113th birthday in 2020, recovering in a matter of days.

Despite her advanced age, she’s a regular social media user, posting on Twitter with the assistance of her daughter.

Besides entertaining her followers on social media, she’s also a keen piano player.

After taking the record, Branyas tweeted: “Sorry for not responding individually. 

“I am surprised and grateful for the expectation generated by the fact that I am the oldest living person in the world. 

“Thank you very much to everyone for the interest shown, although I have not done any merit. These days have been very overwhelming.”

She noted that she would not be engaging with any more journalists asking for interviews with her, as she needs “peace and tranquillity”.

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