11-year-old in China seeks place in Guinness World Records as tallest 6th-grader

BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - An 11-year-old student in Leshan, Sichuan province, is more than 2m tall and wonders if he is the tallest sixth-grader in the world.

He says he wants to apply for a Guinness World Record if he is, but his family has not moved forward because they don't know how to do it, according to the boy's grandmother, Ms Wu Mei.

Ren Keyu, a pupil at a primary school in downtown Leshan, is well known at his school because he is 2.06m tall and towers head and shoulders above his classmates.

Ms Wu said her grandson has been taller than his peers ever since he was in kindergarten.

"He was about 1.3m tall when he attended kindergarten. Doctors suspected he might have gigantism. But several physical check-ups showed that his growth hormone level and pituitary gland were normal," she said.

She thought Ren's height might have something to do with the family's genetic code.

Ren's grandfather is more than 1.9m tall. His deceased mother was also more than 1.9m tall. His father, a migrant worker, is more than 1.8m tall.

As a kindergarten student, Ren felt it was a privilege to be tall.

"The teacher would place apples somewhere high in the cupboard. I was tall enough to get apples to eat," he said.

But soon he saw the other side. Other people sneered, asking how such a tall boy could be in kindergarten.

"He dreamed of leaving kindergarten and starting school as a regular student," Ms Wu said.

When Ren is in the street, people stare at him out of curiosity, which makes him feel even more awkward.

When he was 10, a schoolmate said being tall meant being silly. He was so offended that he locked himself in his room, shouting "I hate being tall", his grandmother recalled.

Ren's primary school teacher, Ms Xu Hong, said Ren is an ordinary child except for his height.

"He has merits and shortcomings. He is naughty but studies hard. He once got the highest score on the Chinese examination in his class," said Ms Xu, who remembered the first time Ren entered the classroom.

"I mistook him for a student in a higher grade and asked him to go to his own classroom," Ms Xu said.

To accommodate Ren, she had an extra-large table and chair made for him - twice.