Towering nearly two feet over his classmates, 14-year-old Ren Keyu from China has always stood out from the crowd.
The ninth-grade pupil, nicknamed Xiaoyu, already measures about seven feet three inches (2.21 metres) in height and is still growing.
The boy has applied to be the world’s current tallest male teenager with Guinness World Records – a title previously held by an American teen who was seven feet and one inch (2.159 metres) tall when he was 16.
Xiaoyu, a ninth-grade pupil from south-western China, is seen on his 14th birthday on Sunday
The above picture shows the boy with his classmates in 2018 when he was already six feet nine
Apparently, Xiaoyu’s massive stature is not the result of any medical condition.
The boy from the south-western province of Sichuan says his parents took him to hospital for examination when he was young, and doctors found that his extraordinary height was not caused by any disease.
He believes that his size is influenced by his parents and grandparents, all of whom are taller than six feet.
Xiaoyu attends a measuring session held by Guinness World Records on his 14th birthday
A certification officer (far left) observes Xiaoyu’s measuring session at a hospital in Leshan city
Born on October 18, 2006, Xiaoyu realised he was much bigger than his peers after he started the nursery.
He tells Chinese website Red Star News that he stood about five feet three inches – the average height of a 13-year-old boy in China – when he was just three. As a result, he was often mistaken for a primary school pupil at the nursery by strangers.
When he was 11, his height was six feet nine inches (2.06 metres).
In his current middle school, teachers have to get his desk, chair and uniform tailor-made to fit his rapidly growing body.
He also has difficulties using public transport or visiting amusement parks due to height restriction.
‘At first, I cared a lot about how other people think of me,’ Xiaoyu admitted to Red Star News while talking about his trouble.
‘But my teacher taught me to lead my own path and let others gossip.’
The towering boy is pictured studying by his tailor-made desk at his middle school in 2018
Despite still studying in the middle school, Xiaoyu is only five centimetres (two inches) or so shorter than Tacko Fall, the tallest NBA player in the 2019-20 season.
His classmates call him ‘little Yao Ming’, after the former NBA all-star from China who stands seven feet and six inches (2.29 metres) tall.
But Xiaoyu confesses that he is not interested in playing basketball or other sports because he finds it hard to move around.
He suffers from flat fleet and chondromas – very rare, benign tumours made of cartilage. He has undergone four operations because of the conditions, it is reported.
‘At first, I cared a lot about how other people think of me,’ Xiaoyu told a local reporter while talking about his trouble. ‘But my teacher taught me to lead my own path and let others gossip’
The Guinness World Records is set to announced if Xiaoyu is the tallest teen boy next month
On his 14th birthday on Sunday, Xiaoyu attended a measuring session held by Guinness World Records in his hometown of Leshan to be officially recognised as the tallest teenage boy in the world currently.
An adjudicator from the organisation said that the record is intended for males between the age of 13 and 18.
The officer and her colleagues measured Xiaoyu’s height while he was standing. They also took down his length while he was lying down, his arm span and the size of his hands.
Guinness World Records is reviewing Xiaoyu’s application and determining his precise height. The results are expected to be announced next month.
The title of the tallest living teenage male and female in the world are both vacant at present because the former record-holders are now older than 18.
Kevin Bradford from the United States was the world’s tallest male teenager certified by Guinness World Records. Born on October 27, 1998, he measured seven feet and one inch (2.159 metres) on April 30, 2015.
The tallest teenage female was Rumeysa Gelgi, who was born in Turkey on January 1, 1997. She measured just over seven feet (2.136 metres) in height on March 19, 2014.
In Britain, lofty teen Brandon Marshall of Suffolk was named the tallest teenager in the UK when he reached seven feet four inches at the age of 16 in 2018.