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Japanese man, 80, becomes oldest climber to conquer Mount Everest

‘‘This is the world’s best feeling, although I’m totally exhausted,’’ Yuichiro Miura said from Everest’s summit.

Miura Dolphins/European Pressphoto Agency

‘‘This is the world’s best feeling, although I’m totally exhausted,’’ Yuichiro Miura said from Everest’s summit.

KATMANDU, Nepal — An 80-year-old Japanese man became the oldest person to climb to 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 peak when he was 70 and 75, reached the summit at 9:05 a.m. local time, said a Nepalese mountaineering official.

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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 shown by Japanese public broadcaster NHK.

‘‘I made it!’’ Miura said over the phone. ‘‘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, Miura’s support team said.

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.’’

Sherchan’s team leader, Temba, who uses one name, said that he would congratulate the new record holder once he returned to the base camp and that Sherchan would not turn back until he completes his mission.

On his expedition’s website, Miura explained his attempt to scale Everest at such an advanced age: ‘‘It is to challenge [my] own ultimate limit. It is to honor the great Mother Nature.’’

He said a successful climb would raise the bar for what is possible.

‘‘And if the limit of age 80 is at the summit of Mount Everest, the highest place on earth, one can never be happier,’’ he said.

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. Miura became famous when he was a young man as a daredevil speed skier, including a descent down Everest’s South Col in 1970 using a parachute to brake.

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