Nepalese teen becomes world`s smallest man

A Nepalese teenager whose tiny stature has made him a celebrity in his homeland entered the record books as the world`s shortest man Thursday as he celebrated his 18th birthday.

Last Updated: Oct 14, 2010, 12:13 PM IST

Pokhara: A Nepalese teenager whose
tiny stature has made him a celebrity in his homeland entered the record books as the world`s shortest man Thursday as he
celebrated his 18th birthday.

Khagendra Thapa Magar, who stands just 25.8 inches
(65.5 centimetres) tall and weighs 5.5 kilos, takes over from
24-year-old Edward "Nino" Hernandez from Colombia, who is
almost two inches taller.

A team of adjudicators from the Guinness World Records
met Magar this week and conducted exhaustive checks on his
claim to the record in the picturesque Himalayan town of
Pokhara in central Nepal, near the village where he grew up.

"An 18-year-old from Nepal has today been named the
new world`s shortest man by Guinness World Records
adjudicators who flew to the country to measure him," the
London-based organisation said in a statement.

"At two feet 1.8 inches, Khagendra Thapa Magar has
been officially recognised as the shortest man in the world,
snatching the title from 24-year-old Edward `Nino` Hernandez
from Colombia who has held the title for just five weeks."

Magar, the son of a fruit seller from rural Nepal, who
dreams of marrying and travelling the world in his wife`s
handbag, will receive his official Guinness World Records
certificate in a short ceremony today.

He has met the prime minister on several occasions,
been named a tourism ambassador and hit headlines across the
world when he travelled to New York and London last month on a
publicity drive.

His family had previously laid claim to the record for
Nagar, but the teenager needed to reach his 18th birthday
before being officially recognised as the smallest man.

In Pokhara, a lakeside town popular with tourists,
shouts of recognition greeted the teenager wherever he went
this week, and Magar`s father said his son was enjoying the
attention.

"Khagendra may be small, but his size has earned him a
big name," Rup Bahadur Thapa Magar told reporters.
"People are always so nice to him. They come up and
ask to have their photograph taken with him. It makes us feel
that he is loved, and he likes it too. Khagendra is a true
blessing from God."

Magar senior, who runs a fruit shop in the family`s
village in central Nepal, said he did not know what caused his
son to stop growing.
But reports say that the teenager suffers from
primordial dwarfism, a condition that typically reduces life
expectancy to as little as 20 years.

"He was so tiny when he was born that he could fit in
the palm of your hand, and it was very hard to bathe him
because he was so small," said his father.

PTI