THE World's tallest man hit back at a claim from a lanky challenger today and insisted: "I'm still number one".
Sultan Kösen, who stands at 8ft 3in, proudly showed off his certificate following reports Sulemana Abdul Samed could be as tall as 9ft 6in.
Beanpole Sulemana, 29, caused a stir worldwide after doctors estimated his height at a rural clinic in Ghana.
Medics admitted they were not sure as they did not have proper measuring equipment.
The unverified record would make him the tallest man in history and 15 inches higher than Turkish farmer Sultan, 40.
Guinness World Records recognises Sultan as the tallest living person at 2.51m or 8ft 2.8in. He also has the world's largest hands.
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And today he was in defiant mood after being tracked down in his village in eastern Turkey.
He told Andalou news agency he wouldn't give up his records without a fight.
Sultan said: "I have the biggest feet in the world. I wear size 61 shoes.
"I also own the largest hands in the world. My records are registered. I am world cultural heritage.
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"I hear some news saying, 'Sultan's record is over, there are people taller than Sultan'.
"If there is, let's measure our height.
"I've held my record for 14 years. I will not lose my record to anyone. I'm determined about it."
Sulemana, who has to wear shoes made of tyres, has growth disorder Marfan syndrome and has been shooting up for years.
He is a celebrity in Ghana where he is taller than some houses and is known as the "friendly giant".
His health conditions meant he had to give up his dream of being a driver and moved back to his vilage from the capital Accra.
At a recent checkup, docs recorded a height that would mean he towered over the tallest man ever, US giant Robert Wadlow who was 8ft 11.1in when he died in 1940.
Although he was diagnosed with gigantism years ago, medical staff in the rural district struggled to find equipment big enough to measure Sulemana's gargantuan height.
As news of his unofficial record went viral, a BBC reporter went to meet him armed with a 16ft measuring tape.
He got a neighbour to stand on a chair and mark Sulemana's height on the highest wall in the village.
Then he measured from that mark to the ground – and it came to a more believable 7ft 4in.
Sulemana said: "The way they measure me, I cannot say everything is perfect.
"I'm still growing tall. Who knows, maybe one day I may get to that height too.
"Every three months of four months I grow.
"If you've not seen me for three months and you see me, you'd realised I have increased."
Meanwhile Ethiopia's tallest man also hit out at claims on behalf of the young Ghanaian.
Nagawo Jimaa – who has the official height of 7ft 4.6in – posted a photo on Facebook alongside one of Sulemana – adding the caption: "Never give up".
In an earlier post he had said: "Bring him if you want – this guy will not be taller than me."
And he later told the BBC: "From what I see on the pictures, I can say he's not taller than me."
Guinness World Records says it knows of only ten confirmed or reliable cases in history of people reaching 8ft in height.
Brahim Takioullah, from Morocco, and Morteza Mehrzad of Iran tie for second tallest living man at 8ft 1in.
Around 50 living people have been measured at 7ft 5in or above.
Sultan took the title of world's tallest living man in 2009 whenhe was 8ft 1in aged 26. He has grown another two inches since then.
His fame has seen him travel to more than 150 countries.
In 2021 he moved to Russia looking for a bride after splitting from his 5ft 9in wife.
But he left still single and returned to Turkey where he lives in a house specially made for him.
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In fact he does not have the world's largest feet, according to Guinness.
They belong to Jeison Rodriguez, from Venezuela, who wears specially made shoes the equivalent of European size 69.
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