Legend! Kiwi sporting hero Sir Peter Snell, 77, to compete in World Masters Games

He shot to fame on the track in the 1960s, but next year when Sir Peter Snell represents New Zealand once more, the 77-year-old will compete in a different arena for the World Masters Games - and he's going to need a racket.

Though the 77-year-old is better known for his middle distance running, Sir Peter will be taking on a different discipline in Auckland next April. Source: Supplied

New Zealand's 'Sport Champion of the Century' will compete in table tennis at next year's games having been a keen racket sports player since his childhood.

However, following a collapse at a racketball court six years ago and a subsequent cardiomyopathy diagnosis, Sir Peter took up table tennis with wife Miki and they play and practise three times a week for two to three hours at a time.

The ABs half admitted to staying up late last night to watch a documentary about NZ Olympic runners Peter Snell and Murray Halberg. Source: 1 NEWS

Sir Peter, who won gold in both the 800m and 1500m at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, says the World Masters Games' goal of encouraging participation in sport throughout life reflects him "100 per cent".

"Both of us are very competitive and like to win, although against the Chinese who have been playing since they were kids, this is tough to do in Texas," he says.

Sir Peter has crafted a winning record with his wife in America where he now lives, with the former middle distance runner finishing in the top four in the state championship in the 75+ age category and qualifying for the US Championships in Birmingham, Alabama, in June.

The World Master Games take place in Auckland from 21 to 30 April next year.