For nearly four years now, Khagendra Thapa Magar, a 17-year-old from Nepal, has been trying to get global recognition as the world's shortest man. It seems that record will soon be his.
With BBC confirming death of the current record holder He Pingping in Rome on Saturday due to heart complications, Khagendra is all set to enter the Guinness Book of World Records when he turns 18 in a few months.
Pingping, a 21-year-old from the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia, was 29 inches tall. On the other hand, the new claimant from Nepal who had stepped up efforts to dethrone his predecessor in recent weeks is only 22 inches.
Khagendra and his father returned from Italy last month after another unsuccessful attempt at dislodging Pingping. Guinness officials stated that although the Nepali teenager was the shortest person-he will have to turn 18 to hold the record.
Documents shown by Khagendra's family at Rome indicated that he was born on October 4, 1992. But despite Pingping's death, Khagendra will have to celebrate another birthday before he enters the record books.
"It's sad news. We had met Pingping in Rome last month and he seemed in good health," Khagendra'a father Rup Bahadur told HT. "With no other claimant for the record, we hope Guinness will soon give the recognition to my son."
Khagendra and his family who hail from a remote village in Baglung district of Nepal are hoping that the recognition will bring them fame, chance to travel the world and also a bride for the short guy.
Pingping who got the Guinness honour in 2008 entertained millions across the globe while travelling with other record holders. Khagendra's supporters in Nepal hope that he will soon get to perform that role and earn name for the country as well.