An attempt to set a world record in Sri Lanka for the largest gathering of twins appears to have failed because too many turned up.

Thousands of twins packed into a stadium in Sri Lanka’s capital of Colombo to try to break Taiwan’s Guinness World Record set in 1999. The organisers of the event, Sri Lanka Twins, called on the island’s twins to gather at the sports stadium to beat the record of 3961 pairs of twins, 37 sets of triplets and four sets of quadruplets, all together in one place. However, so many twins turned up that officials struggled to count them in time to prove they had organised a record-breaking gathering.

The larger-than-expected crowd caused long queues as sets of siblings waited to get their birth certificates checked. This meant strict rules on registration were hindered. Many twins appeared to leave before they could be added to the tally and there was no group photo, which is usually required at mass record attempts.

Many of the twins, including children, pensioners and police officers, had travelled for hours to attend the event, which had Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, as guest of honour.

“The counting is still going on. We will submit the final count and the documentation back to the Guinness World Record committee and I am confident we will be informed in writing that we hold the record”, Upuli Gamage, co-organiser of the event with her twin Chamali, told the crowd.

Sri Lanka Twins said it had organised the event to raise the profile and awareness of underprivileged twins, triplets and quadruplets as impoverished families often struggled to cope with multiple births. They claim to have 28,000 twins and triplets registered with them.

The record-breaking attempt was followed by a concert performed exclusively by twins, including an 80-member orchestra.

It will be 2 weeks before they find out if they have qualified for the record or not. The Guinness organisation has not commented on whether the record was made

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