At a mere 25 inches (63.5 centimetres) tall, Zaw Bala Aung had lofty dreams of breaking a Guinness World Record, but at 10 years old, he will not officially qualify for the world’s shortest man for another eight years.
The boy, also known as Balagyi, was born in a Burmese village called Htanpoutkone in Kyaukpadaung Township on March 10, 2000, the second child of four and the only son for parents Win Lwin and Khin Hla. However, he is the only one of his siblings with primordial dwarfism and weighs 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms), with a head circumference of 13 inches (33 centimetres).
Yesterday he and his family decided it was time to throw his name in the hat for the title of the world’s shortest man and held a press conference at Karaweik Hall in Burma’s former capital, Rangoon.
“He was medically examined and his medical record is fine,” said a reporter named Khin who was representing the family. “His bone growth had stopped.”
Khin said they recently sent Zaw Bala Aung’s measurements and medical records to Guinness for consideration. Unfortunately, he will not pass the age test.
“To quality for the Guinness World Records title of world’s shortest man, claimants must be 18 years or older (assuming the first year of life is considered year 0, and not year 1),” the measurement body’s website says. “This is irrespective of sexual maturity or a society’s legal, ritualistic or religious coming of age.”
Supporting the entire family by selling shwe yin aye, a traditional Burmese dessert, his father said he was happy that they could do this for his son.
The Guinness World Records has yet to declare a successor to He Pingping, who held the title until March this year when he died at the age of 21. He measured 2 foot, five inches or 74.61 centimetres.
However, Zaw Bala Aung has competition. Nepalese teenager Khagendra Thapa Magar, who is 17 years and eight months and reaches only 20 inches, claims he should be officially verified as the world’s shortest man, but the official body has rejected the claim, at least for another four months.