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Saturday 23.09.2017 | Name days: Vanda, Veneranda, Venija

Japanese climber, 80, becomes oldest atop Everest

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Yuichiro Miura with his son

Yuichiro Miura with his son

An 80-year-old Japanese mountaineer became the oldest person to reach the top of Mount Everest on Thursday — although his record may last only a few days. An 81-year-old Nepalese man, who held the previous record, plans his own ascent next week.

Yuichiro Miura, who also conquered the 29,035-foot (8,850-meter) peak when he was 70 and 75, reached the summit at 9:05 a.m. local time, according to a Nepalese mountaineering official and Miura’s Tokyo-based support team.

Miura and his son Gota made a phone call from the summit, prompting his daughter Emili to smile broadly and clap her hands in footage on Japanese public broadcaster NHK.

“I made it!” Miura said over the phone. “I never imagined I could make it to the top of Mount Everest at age 80. This is the world’s best feeling, although I’m totally exhausted. Even at 80, I can still do quite well.”

The climbers were going to take pictures at the summit before starting to descend, his office said.

Nepalese mountaineering official Gyanendra Shrestha, at Everest base camp, confirmed that Miura had reached the summit and is the oldest person to do so, according to Associated Press.

The previous oldest was Nepal’s Min Bahadur Sherchan, who accomplished the feat at age 76 in 2008, just a day before Miura reached the top at age 75.

Sherchan, now 81, was preparing to scale the peak next week despite digestive problems he suffered several days ago. On Wednesday, Sherchan said by telephone from the base camp that he was in good health and “ready to take up the challenge.”

Miura conquered the mountain despite undergoing heart surgery in January for irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia, his fourth heart operation since 2007, according to his daughter. He also broke his pelvis and left thigh bone in a 2009 skiing accident.

It wasn’t until Miura was 70, however, that he first climbed to the top of Everest. When he summited again at 75, he claimed to be the only man to accomplish the feat twice in his 70s. After that, he said he was determined to climb again at age 80.

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