Standing at 7 feet, 0.7 inches tall, Turkey’s Rumeysa Gelgi has claimed the Guinness World Record title for being the world’s tallest living woman. Gelgi, 24, first achieved a Guinness World Records title back in 2014, aged 17, when she was awarded the title for the Tallest teenager living (female).
Her tall stature is due to a condition called Weaver syndrome, an extremely rare condition which causes accelerated growth amongst other abnormalities including skeletal maturation, Guinness World Record said in a statement.
Since achieving the Guinness World Record back in 2014, Rumeysa has been using her title for advocacy reasons to educate others about rare medical conditions such as her own.
She said, after being asked for her advice for anyone who is tall or who is struggling with feeling different;
“Every disadvantage can be turned into an advantage for yourself so accept yourself for who you are, be aware of your potential and do your best.”
Rumeysa mostly uses a wheelchair to move around but can walk using a walker. She said her height makes people intrigued when they pass by her on the street, but most people are kind and supportive when they meet her for the first time.
In her free time Rumeysa likes to go out to go out to eat with her family. She also finds swimming really helps her to relax. Craig Glenday, editor-in-chief at Guinness World Records, said it was an honor to have Rumeysa back in the record book. He said;
“Her indomitable spirit and pride at standing out from the crowd is an inspiration.”
“The category of tallest living woman is not one that changes hands very often, so I’m excited to share this news with the world.”
Glenday also said the record was “all the more fascinating”; given that the titleholder for the tallest living male is also from Turkey. Sultan Kosen, who measured 251 cm (8 ft 2.8 in), was given the tile on 8 February 2011.
“This a rare occurrence in our 67-year history. The last time the two holders shared the same nationality was in 2009, when China’s Bao Xi Shun (236.1 cm; 7 ft 8.95 in) and Yao Defen (233.3 cm (7 ft 7 in)) held the tallest man and woman records respectively.”
The previous record holder was Yao Defen (China) who recorded an average height of 233.3 cm (7 ft 7 in) when last documented back in 2010. The tallest woman ever to have lived was Zeng Jinlian (China) who was measured 246.3 cm (8 ft 1 in) when she died on 13 February 1982.
Gelgi also joins other Guinness World Record holders in the region.
In June, Al Arabiya English reported how Darine Barbar, an amputee athlete from Lebanon, made history by breaking a Guinness World Record title 28 years after losing her leg as a teenager to bone cancer. Barbar smashed the record for the Longest Samson’s chair/static wall sit (female) achieving a total of two minutes, and 8.24 seconds.
More at The African Media