Indonesia’s Tallest Man Falls Short

JAKARTA ~ An Indonesian labourer who hoped to be named the world’s tallest man is actually five centimetres shorter than record-holder Sultan Kosen of Turkey, an official said.

Suparwono was said to be 2.71 metres (8.89 feet) tall compared to Kosen’s record height of 2.47 metres.

But official measurements taken by Indonesia’s Museum of Records found the 25-year-old Suparwono stood at 2.42 metres, enough to make him Indonesia’s tallest man but not enough to qualify for the Guinness World Records.

“After our team from the Museum of Record measured him lying down and in the standing position we found that his height is 2.42 metres,” museum director Ngadri said on Wednesday.

“We had reports this morning including the result of measurements from a hospital which were 2.71 metres. But we have to stick to our measurement,” he said.

Suparwono shot to fame this week after one of his relatives in his home village of Tri Tunggal Jaya, in Sumatra island’s southern Lampung province, invited neighbours to take pictures of him.

Within days he was appearing on television talk shows in Jakarta as the “Giant of Lampung.”

Suparwono said sometimes he felt “proud” of his height but “it also gives me problems because I can’t live like normal people,” citing the difficulty of fitting into public buses and finding clothes large enough for his frame.

“I started to realise my exceptional height when I was 10 years old. At that time, I was already the tallest at my school and in my village,” he said between television appearances.

“I eat three kilograms (almost seven pounds) of rice every day and at least 15 eggs,” he added.

Suparwono lives with his parents and earns money doing odd jobs around the village.

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