South Asia

World's shortest man is crowned in Nepal

Nepalese teenager Khagendra Thapa Magar has been recognised as the world's smallest man.

Mr Magar, from the mountain town of Pokhara, was presented with a certificate at his 18th birthday party by Guinness World Records officials.

The ceremony was attended by local and international dignitaries.

At 67.08cm (2ft 2.41in), he is more than 3cm smaller than the previous title holder, Colombian Edward Hernandez.

Financial benefits

"After I'm 18, I'd like to get married. I want to get married within two years," Mr Magar told the BBC's Joanna Jolly in Kathmandu.

"I'd like a big red car to drive around."

During the ceremony, Khagendra - who weighs 5.5kg (12lb) - joked with guests and raised his hands in joy when he was presented with a cake twice his size.

On being declared the shortest living man, he said: "I don't consider myself to be a small man. I'm a big man. I hope that having this title enables me to prove it and get a proper house for me and my family."

Our correspondent says that the international recognition he will gain for being a world record holder has already brought financial benefits to his family, who are originally from a poor farming village in the hills outside Pokhara.

In the coming months, Mr Magar - who enjoys watching karate on television and dancing to traditional music - will take up a new role as an ambassador for Nepal's tourist board.

He was spotted by a travelling salesman when he was 14 and taken to local fairs, where children paid to be photographed next to him.

He was then taken to Kathmandu where he formally applied to become the world's smallest man.

Guinness World Records Adjudicator Marco Frigatti said his task was complicated because Nepal has a different calendar to the West and the age of a person is measured not when they are born but when they are conceived.

"We have known about Khagendra for some time, but have had to wait until he turned 18 before we could consider him for the record of shortest man. Khagendra has grown since his last measurement in February, but he is still shorter than his rivals."

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