May the shortest man win.
The 2-foot-2.41-inch Khagendra Thapa Magar may have a short reign as the world’s shortest man. After attaining the title late last year, the 18-year-old Nepalese man may soon lose it.
Guinness World Records told AOL Weird News that a new contender is ready to challenge the diminutive title holder.
Junrey Balawing, 17, hails from the Philippines and claims to be 1 foot 10 inches tall — almost 4.3 inches shorter than Magar — and just shy of being the smallest man ever. “A doctor has not yet measured and verified Junrey Balawing’s height so at this time, Khagendra is still the record holder,” a Guinness rep told AOL Weird News.
Craig Glenday, editor-in-chief of Guinness World Records, said if Balawing measures up, he could make a permanent mark on mankind.
“We’re intrigued by such a remarkable claim,” he said. “If it’s true, it would make Junrey not just the shortest living man but the shortest man who ever lived, beating Gul Mohammed of India (1957–1997) at 57 centimeters or 22.5 inches.”
Glenday is quick to point out that Balawing will have to be 18 before he can be officially measured for the record and he will have to be officially measured three times a day, both standing up and lying flat. He turns 18 in June.
The long and short of it is that until Balawing is officially assessed in person by a Guinness adjudicator, Magar will continue to hold the title of the world’s shortest man, an honor he received on his 18th birthday last October.
Magar beat the previous record holder for smallest living man — 27-inch-high Colombian Edward Nino Hernandez — by 5 inches.
The shortest man ever, Gul Mohammed, stood at 1 foot 10.4 inches. He died at age 40 in 1997 after a battle with a respiratory illness believed to have been caused by smoking.
If Balawing is as short as they say, he could be the shortest man ever.