Russian balloon more than half way to circumnavigating globe

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The son of a 65-year-old Russian adventurer says his father is battling sleep deprivation, freezing temperatures and ice in his oxygen mask as he nears the end of his record attempt to fly solo in a balloon around the world nonstop.

Fedor Konyukhov drifted more than half way around the world by Wednesday since he lifted off from Northam in Western Australia state on July 12 in a helium and hot-air balloon.

Oscar Konyukhov says his father is on track to return to Australia on Sunday — 12 days after he started. The previous record of 13 days and eight hours was set by American adventurer Steve Fossett in 2002.

Oscar estimated the balloon had flown 20,000 kilometers (12,500 miles) by Wednesday and had 13,000 kilometers (8,000 miles) to go.