Taller, shorter, hairier

By | August 23, 2008

China is today gloating over another world record that places it firmly in the big league …. or tall league, to be exact.

If the avalanche of Olympic gold medals weren’t enough, the front page of today’s official English-language China Daily trumpets the news that Inner Mongolian goat herder Bao Xishun has regained the title as the world’s tallest living man after the holder of the record, Ukrainian Leonid Stadnyk, refused to submit to an official measurement.

Guinness World Records (GWR) released a statement overnight announcing that Bao – who measures 2.36 metres (7 feet 9.5 inches) – won on a technicality after Stadnyk refused to submit to being measured by GWR officials.

Stadnyk, who lives with his mother in central Ukraine, is more than 20cm (8 inches) taller than Bao at 2.57 metres (8 feet 5.5 inches), according to a statement from his doctor tendered last year.

It was on that basis that the Ukrainian was listed in the 2008 edition of the Guinness Book of Records. The 2009 edition of the famous record book, however, will hand the honour back to Bao.

While Bao enjoys the publicity that comes with his fame, Stadnyk regards it as a burden. “The world is built for medium-sized people,” he told the Reuters news agency. – smh

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