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|Wednesday, February 28, 2001, updated at 08:49(GMT+8)|
China Shoe Salesman Beats French Spiderman to ClimbThe French "spiderman", the aerial dare-devil famous for clambering up the Eiffel Tower and Empire State building, has been upstaged in China by a shoe salesman.
Alain Robert walked away from Shanghai after he decided that shimmying up the 88-storey Jinmao Tower -- China's tallest building -- was too risky.
Enter Han Qizhi, a 31-year-old shoe salesman who just happened to be walking past the popular landmark and was "struck by a rash impulse", according to one state media report.
When security guards weren't looking, he launched himself upon the skyscraper and proceeded to clamber -- bare-handed and dressed in ordinary street clothes and shoes -- up a steel grid that sheathes the building, state media reported.
Han hoped his death-defying stunt in high winds, near-zero-degree temperatures and swirling fog might help promote his shoe business in the central Chinese city of Hefei. A trim, athletic-looking man, he had never climbed before.
"He just wanted to show off and make a name for himself," police spokeswoman Fang Dinghua said.
"He walked around Jinmao a couple of times, told his colleague he was going up, dropped his jacket and started climbing. And that was that."
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