Guinness World Records adjudicator Gaz Deaves looks back on last week's particularly memorable series of record attempts in Pakistan.

As a Guinness World Records adjudicator, I am often asked to travel to far-flung parts of the world to witness the amazing feats that people are continually challenging themselves to do.

One of the most rewarding parts of the job is the fact that we get the chance to meet record-breakers and see their incredible talents first-hand.

My most recent trip took me to the bustling city of Lahore, Pakistan.

I was to attend the Punjab Youth Festival, a month-long programme of sporting tournaments, craft competitions and exhibitions.

The organisers of the festival had decided that they wanted to challenge a few Guinness World Records on top of an already packed schedule, and needed an adjudicator to officiate on-location.


The first day saw an attempt at the record for Most people singing a national anthem.

A huge crowd at the National Hockey Stadium in Central Lahore, raised their voices to the tune of Qaumī Tarāna (the Pakistani national anthem) while an army of stewards, team leaders, independent witnesses and auditors worked quickly to ensure that an exact number could be determined.


Getting an accurate count with a crowd of this size is often just as difficult as assembling it in the first place, making this one of the most challenging types of record to adjudicate.

Even so, a final total of 42,813 singers was verified to our exacting standards and the record was awarded to elated celebration from the assembled crowd.

The following day saw the best and brightest of Pakistan's record breaking community all assembled under one roof. Expo Center Lahore played host to 12 different record attempts from a diverse group including sportspeople, students, electricians and a chef.

Nine records were broken on that day, with the clear highlight being Mohammed Sadi's successful attempt at Heaviest vehicle pulled with the beard.

Demonstrating the strength of his mighty whiskers, Sadi pulled a Hyundai truck weighing 1,700 kg (3748 lb) over a 63-metre course while a stunned crowd of onlookers, journalists and television cameras looked on. After the attempt he told me about his training regime: at home he pulls heavy wooden logs rather than vehicles because he doesn't own a car or truck himself!

The final day saw me return to the National Hockey Stadium where two records attempted, both focussed on unifying the people of the province to collaborate in the creation of giant artwork. The Largest human picture mosaic featured 1,936 local school children, each with a printed placard, assembling in formation to create a large-scale picture of the Lahore Fort, one of the area's local landmarks.

The effect was only visible from an elevated position, creating an impressive effect from above. In any other set of circumstances, this mosaic of nearly 2,000 individual images would have been a fitting end to the festival. However, it turned out to be little more than a warm-up for a much larger version of a similar challenge: Largest human flag.

Operating on the same principle as the picture mosaic, the largest human flag attempt also requires participants to stand in formation with coloured placards to create an image visible from the air. However, this version requires that a national flag be depicted and carries a much higher record: in this case more than ten times the picture mosaic record would be required to break the existing record of 21,726 participants set in Hong Kong in 2007.

Assembling and arranging a crowd of that size is both a huge logistical challenge and a time-consuming process: for a record of this kind it takes around two hours to get everyone into position. Once the participants were all ready, we carried out an inspection to ensure that every one of the participants was in place and could be accurately counted.

Even with a clear grid structure to make the counting quicker, this still takes around an hour, meaning that the first people to arrive for the attempt had already been waiting for three hours before they could even start!

Once the formation had been counted and verified, it was time to see the results. On a signal from the organisers, 24,200 people stood up simultaneously and raised their placards into the air to create a huge representation of the national flag of Pakistan.

The effect was remarkable, as the scene shifted from a crowd of people to a sea of green and white, setting a new record for the largest human flag and marking a spectacular end to this programme of record breaking.

It's always a great pleasure to see a group of people take to record-breaking in such a big way, and the Punjab Youth Festival was a brilliant example of how attempting to be the best in the world at something can be a positive influence on everyone. Here's hoping we get the chance to go back to Pakistan soon.

Other records set during the festival included:

Most martial arts kicks in three minutes (using one leg) (male): 616 - Ahmed Amin Bodla

Heaviest vehicle pulled by beard: 1,700kg (3747 lbs 13 oz) - Sadi Ahmed

Fastest time to wire a plug: 35.93 seconds - Mian Nouman Anjum

Fastest time to make 3 chapatis: 3 minutes 14.98 sec - Mohammad Mansha (Mohammad is the head chef at the National Hockey Stadium).

Fastest time to arrange a chess set: 45.48 seconds - Meher Gul. (Meher, pictured further up, is a 12-year-old female chess champion).

Most consecutive football headers: 335 - Daniel Gill & Qamar Rizwan

Fastest time to dress in cricket whites (batsman gear): - 1 minute 18.21 seconds - Mohammed Jaleel ul Hassan

Most leapfrog jumps in 30 seconds: 34 - Lt Nouman Rafeeq and Seraz Safaraz