, POKHARA, Oct 13 – A Nepalese teenager set to be named the world\’s smallest man when he turns 18 on Thursday is undergoing final checks under the close scrutiny of Guinness World Records officials.
Khagendra Thapa Magar, who stands just 25.8 inches (65.5 centimetres) tall, celebrates his 18th birthday on Thursday when he is expected to be awarded the title in an official ceremony overseen by the world records body.
A team of adjudicators arrived this week in the picturesque Himalayan town of Pokhara in central Nepal, where they are conducting exhaustive checks on Magar\’s claim to the world record.
"Khagendra\’s height and weight will be checked in the presence of a Nepalese doctor and by Guinness World Records officials, once standing up and once lying down," the organisation\’s spokesman in Nepal, Siddartha Lama, told AFP.
"This will be done once in the morning and once in the evening, and then sent to our London office for evaluation."
Magar, who weighs just 5.5 kilos (12 pounds), is still a day away from snatching the record currently held by 24-year old Edward "Nino" Hernandez from Columbia, who is two inches taller than his Nepalese rival.
But the teenager is already a household name in his home country, where he has met the prime minister on several occasions, posed with Miss Nepal, and been named a tourism ambassador.
Last month, he travelled to New York as part of a publicity trip organised by Ripley\’s Believe It or Not curiosity museum, where he posed alongside a life-sized figure of the tallest man in history — the 8-foot-11-inch American Robert Wadlow.
Magar\’s father, a shopkeeper from a small village in rural central Nepal, says he does not know what caused his son to stop growing, although reports say that the teenager suffers from primordial dwarfism.
That condition typically reduces life expectancy to as little as 20 years.
Guinness World Records says the shortest man ever is thought to be Gul Mohammed from India, who was said to have measured just 22.5 inches, although this was never independently verified.