So, do you think, Ueshiba Morihei just anticipated modern athletics?
How do you explain his comparatively high success rate at higher age, or the fact that early aikidoka often got better despite them growing older, in view of the fact that normal athletes for the most part often have to retire relatively early in their lives?
I'm not sure what/who it is we are comparing Ueshiba with/to.
If you want to talk about physicality in old age, Ueshiba has some stiff competition. Jack Lalanne 1984 Age 70: Handcuffed, shackled and fighting strong winds and currents, towed 70 boats with 70 people from the Queen's Way Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary, 1 ½ miles.
Ueshiba wasn't competing at anything into old age. He was teaching martial arts, and as he got latter in life, he wasn't actively doing lots of that. So if we compare him to his peers, there are lot's of martial artists like him. If we compare him to top level athletes like Jack Lalanne, who were interested in physical activity late in life, he's coming up short.
Comparisons are interesting things.