A towering Turk was officially crowned the world's tallest man Thursday after his Ukrainian rival dropped out of the running by refusing to be measured.
In this Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2009 photo, Sultan Kosen from Turkey stands in front of Tower Bridge in London.
Guinness World Records said that 8 foot 1 inch (2.47 meter) Sultan Kosen, from the town of Mardin in eastern Turkey, is now officially the tallest man walking the planet. Although the previous record holder, Ukrainian Leonid Stadnyk, reportedly measured 8 feet 5.5 inches (2.57 meters), Guinness said he was stripped of his title when he declined to let anyone confirm his height.
Stadnyk, 39, told The Associated Press he refused to be independently measured because he was tired of being in the public eye.
"If this title had given me more health or a few extra years, I would have taken it, but the opposite happened, I only wasted my nerve cells," he said.
"If I have to choose between prosperity and calm, I choose calm."
Kosen, 27, told reporters in London that he was looking forward to parlaying his newfound status into a chance at love.
"Up until now it's been really difficult to find a girlfriend," Kosen said through an interpreter. "I've never had one, they were usually scared of me. ... Hopefully now that I'm famous I'll be able to meet lots of girls. I'd like to get married."