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Athletes train for first Mobile Phone Olympics

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If you spot a large group of people hurling their phones across London's Clapham Common this weekend don't worry - it's only part of what is billed as the inaugural Mobile Phone Olympics.

Sponsors of the event, mobile phone retailer Phones 4u and Sony Ericsson, hope the contest will attract up to 15,000 competitors.

Mobile Phone Olympians will be tested in four separate disciplines designed to test their all-round ability.

Disciplines include: text messaging, sending a 80-character text message as quickly as possible; MMS Messaging, again a test of speed of speed but this time with a photo as well as text being sent; and a mobile gaming challenge, with competitors trying to rack up as many points as possible in a two minute game of Pro Skater 4.

But the real test of athletic prowess comes with the mobile phone throwing competition, where contestants attempt to chuck the handsets as far as possible from a standing start.

All the tests will be performed using Sony Ericsson T310 handset. As a spin off benefit to the organisers, competitors will be able to test the new handset (we hope none get nicked).

The competition kicks off today with the competitor who gains the best overall score (ten points for a win in each discipline) due to be crowned champion of Sunday.

The Mobile Phone Olympics form part of the Sprite Urban Games, an annual cult street sports event.

As we reported earlier this month, mobile phone throwing competitions are commonplace in Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. The current record in the phone throwing competitions is 57 metres. Will any Brits this weekend do better?

But enough on our obsession on slinging handsets, the Mobile Phone Olympics broadens the scope of competition to make it a multi-disciplinary event.

Competitors will need a wide range of skills, don't you know.

Jenna Jensen, of sponsors Phones 4u, said: "The mobile phone athletes will need lighting fast fingers, supreme powers of concentration, a strong arm, textual expertise and quick reactions."

So now you know. ®

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