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8/27/2007
09:03 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Hate Your Cell Phone? Go Ahead And Chuck It

On Saturday, the tiny Finnish village of Savonlinna hosted its annual Mobile Phone Throwing World Championships. The winner, one of 32 male contestants, flung a mobile phone 294 feet to take the gold prize.

On Saturday, the tiny Finnish village of Savonlinna hosted its annual Mobile Phone Throwing World Championships. The winner, one of 32 male contestants, flung a mobile phone 294 feet to take the gold prize.Not only is there a throwing competition, but a freestyle competition, whereby contestants essentially juggle their phones in front of several judges. This year's distance-throwing champion was Tommi Huotari. He must have had a bad year, because his throw (which was just short of the length of a football field) was only 17 feet shy of the world record of 311 feet.

The freestyle competition produced a tie for first place. A 19-year-old circus performer, Taco Cohen, scored 12 points by walking on his hands, among other tricks. Sharing the podium with Cohen was a young woman dressed as a cowgirl. She also scored 12 points.

The one bummer is that you can't actually throw your own phone. The phones are supplied by the event organizers. Here's what the Web site says about the "equipment" used in the competition:

The mobile phones used at the Championships are original phones with batteries. Competitors can use only the phones provided by Fennolingua. Some competitors have wanted to throw their own phones as far as possible but that is against the rules. The organizer has received a lot of mobile phones, all kinds of brands and models. The phones are checked and approved as official Championships equipment. The weight of the phones varies from 220 grams to over 400 grams. Competitors can choose the phone that fits best to his/her hand or looks the nicest. There are clearly two parties in this; some believe that the heavier phones flies further than lighter ones and others think just the opposite. There are no favourite brand, often colourful covers or convenient form might be the argument.

The Savonlinna Festivals Mobile Phone Throwing World Championships has actually been around since 2000. According to the event Web site, the contest was started for several reasons. Chief among them, to allow people to vent some potential frustrations that might have been caused by their cell phones. The second, believe it or not, is so people recycle their old phones.

Personally, I have a hard time believing this competition didn't stem from an issue challenged after a long night of drinking vodka. I can just picture two drunken Finns taunting and daring one another to see who could throw their phones the furthest.

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