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Japanese man says he is oldest to conquer Everest

world Updated: Feb 12, 2009 09:55 IST

AFP
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A Japanese climber who scaled Mount Everest last year at the age of 75 said on Thursday he has been recognised by Guinness World Records as the oldest person to reach the world's highest peak.

Yuichiro Miura, who conquered Mount Everest despite having undergone two heart operations, had earlier congratulated Nepal's Min Bahadur Sherchan, who was said to be 77 and reached the summit just two days before Miura.

But Miura's office showed a certificate from Guinness World Records, which gave him the title as the Nepalese climber failed to submit documents to prove his record. A Guinness spokesman was not immediately available to comment.

"Honestly, I'm happy to be recognised as the Guinness record holder, even though I didn't climb the mountain to get the record," Miura, now 76, said in a statement.

"The record is something which will be broken in the future," he continued.

A veteran climber, Miura was the first person to ski down Everest's South Col in 1970, a feat immortalised in an Oscar-winning documentary.

"Humanity always takes up the challenge to explore alien territory and I myself would like to continue striving to reach a new goal, no matter how old I get," Miura said.

Miura set an earlier record as the world's oldest conqueror in 2003 when he stood on the 8,848-metre (29,028-feet) peak at the age of 70.

But afterwards he suffered an irregular heartbeat and other problems that forced him to undergo two heart operations.

In 2007, his earlier record was broken by another Japanese man -- Katsusuke Yanagisawa, who was 71 years and two months at the time.