A Filipino teen standing just under two feet tall has just been been officially declared the World’s Shortest Man by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Junrey Balawing, who just turned 18, is 23.6 inches tall. That makes him almost 3 inches shorter than Khagendra Thapa Magar, the previous holder of the unique record.
Although born a normal size, Balawing was a sickly toddler who, according to his father, stopped growing in his first year. Along with his height, Jenrey’s speech is also stunted limiting his conversations to short phrases.
The Balawings never had the means to investigate what medical condition prevented their son from growing but hopefully with attention that goes hand in hand with this award, that will all change.
While the award does not come with a cash prize, Guinness World Records editor-in-chief Craig Glenday said the team hopes that publicizing Balawing’s case will draw the attention of medical experts who may be able to help him.
“The previous record holder had been given medical care… He even had free surgery provided by the U.S.A. So there are benefits to being a record holder.”