China boy, 14, already 2.21m tall, 5cm shorter than NBA star Yao Ming

However, the teenager has flat feet and can't do sports.

Belmont Lay | October 22, 2020, 02:59 AM

A 14-year-old boy in Leshan, Sichuan province in China, has hit 2.21m in height.

And he is gunning to be recognised by Guinness World Records as the world's tallest male teenager.

Chengdu Business Daily published a video on Ren and interviewed him to find out how he is coping at the moment.

As tall as Yao Ming

Ren Keyu is currently a junior high school student.

He lives in an old residential quarter in downtown Leshan.

His towering frame is a familiar sight in the area.

Despite being only in his teens, he is almost as tall as former Chinese NBA star Yao Ming, who is 2.26m tall.

Ren was about 1.3m tall when he started kindergarten, according to his maternal grandmother, Wu Mei.

Health issues

However, Ren has his share of health issues as a result of his height.

He might not be able to pursue a sports career as he has flat feet.

And at 126kg, he has undergone four surgeries on his feet and he cannot walk for long periods of time.

Privileged to be tall but not too tall

Ren told reporters recently that he felt privileged to be taller than other kids his age at first.

During kindergarten, he was the only one who could reach the top of blackboards.

It made him popular.

But soon things started to change.

People would sneer at him or ask how someone so tall could be in kindergarten, and he couldn’t wait to start school so he could feel normal.

Unfortunately, as he continued to grow, some of his classmates started making fun of his height, and people passing him on the street would gawk at him.

Awkward situations like hitting his head on the top of the door frame didn’t help make things better.

It made him feel awkward, and Ren’s grandmother recalls that just last year, another boy called Ren a giant.

But despite all the hardships he has faced because of his height, Ren doesn’t know if he wants to stop growing.

“I both hope to and not to grow much taller,” the boy said.

“I want to be tall enough to break the World Guinness Records, but don’t like the daily inconveniences brought about by my height.”


Doctors suspected he might have a condition called gigantism.

But several physical check-ups showed his growth hormone levels and pituitary gland were normal, Ren's grandmother said.

She suspects Ren's height might be hereditary.

His maternal grandfather is more than 1.9m.

The maternal grandmother herself is 1.75m.

Ren's deceased mother was more than 1.9m.

Ren's father is more than 1.8m.

Tallest people records

The former Guinness record holder as the tallest male teenager is Kevin Bradford from the United States, who was born in 1998.

He was 2.159m on April 30, 2015.

The former Guinness record holder as the tallest female teenager is Rumeysa Gelgi of Turkey.

She was born in 1997 and measured 2.136m tall on March 19, 2014.

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Top photo via China Daily