'World's tallest man' shuns Guiness Book of Records

| Saturday, May 2, 2009

Source : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/5254882/Worlds-tallest-man-shuns-Guiness-Book-of-Records.html

Zhao Liang needs two beds to rest his 8ft, 1in frame, one of life's inconveniences for the Chinese giant who could become officially known as the world's tallest man.

The 27-year-old is four inches taller than the current holder of the title, another Chinese man, but the media-war Zhao has not yet decided whether he wants the Guiness Book of Records to officially ratify him.

Lying on a makeshift iron bed in a hospital in the northern city of Tianjin after an operation on his foot, Zhao seems almost bored with his sudden rise to fame.

The hospital was forced to put together two standard-sized iron beds to accommodate the giant from central Henan province whose parents are of average height, but he still has trouble fitting his large frame onto the narrow mattresses.

His shoulders, hands, legs and feet are all oversized, and he finds it difficult to find clothes and shoes to fit.

Weighing 341 pounds, Zhao squeezes into European size 56 shoes.

He is huge even compared with China's most famous tall man, Yao Ming, the basketball star who plays for the Houston Rockets in the American NBA and stands 2.29 metres tall.

Asked about Zhao's clothes, Wang Keyun, his 1.68-metre-high mother, laughs and unravels a pair of his trousers - they reach up to her face when she stands up.

"For my son, everything is always custom-made, and when he was young I would make his clothes myself," she said.

Zhao has also been forced to confront more serious inconveniences, which he describes with few words.

"When I was young, I stayed at home because of my height, and I did not play with others as they were small and I was tall," he said.

And he is still single.

However Zhao's reluctant rise to fame could have a silver lining if he seeks official status with the Guinness Book of Records as the world's tallest man.

The current holder of the title - 2.36-metre herdsman Bao Xishun from the steppes of Inner Mongolia, launched a highly public search for a bride three years ago.

After a lifetime as a bachelor, Bao, aged in his 50s, heard back from more than 20 interested women and married one of them, who was half his height, after a courtship of just one month in 2007.