Disabled athlete crawls up Sydney Tower in double-quick time

Sydney  - Paralympics gold medal winner Kurt Fearnley left his wheelchair Wednesday and took the 1,504 steps two-at-a-time to conquer Sydney's tallest building in a better time than most people with working legs can do it.

The 28-year-old wheelchair marathon champion crawled up the fire escape at the 260-metre Sydney Tower in 20 minutes compared with the all-comers record of 6 minutes 52 seconds.

Fearnley has won this year's Paris, London, Seoul and Sydney marathons and hopes to make it a clean sweep by crossing the line first in Chicago and New York.

Born with lumbar sacral agenesis - the bottom part of his spine is missing - Fearnley has spent his life trying to keep pace with those who don't need a wheelchair to get around.

"I'm in great shape so I'm still a shot at going for the perfect year," the physical education teacher said. "The last two marathons especially are incredibly challenging and they have good fields from all over the world." (dpa)