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Phone-flingers flock to Finland for World Championships

Not Nokia staffers... we hope

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No, they weren't Nokia employees – we think – but on Saturday Finns gathered to hurl mobile phones into some concrete.

It was for fun: "Mobile Phone Throwing is light and modern Finnish sport," say the organisers of the World Phone Throwing championships in the Finnish town of Savonlinna.

It is the twelfth year of the global phone-chucking competition and young Finn Ere Karjalainen set a new world record with a 101m throw.

There are three contests in the championships: a straight-out distance throw, a freestyle round judged on creativity and aesthetics and a junior category for the under-12s. The winners get a (new) phone.

Organised by a local translation company Fennolingua to publicise the issue of phone recycling, the World Phone Throwing Competition is backed by local phone recycling banks who provide the handsets used for chucking. Competitors can chose whatever they like from the selection, though all phones have to be over 220g, and using your own is strictly forbidden.

But it's about more than issues of battery toxicity. The competition's site sketched out the philosophy behind the throwing.

It combines recycling philosophy and fun spirit in active sport. A part of the philosophy is also a spiritual freedom from being available all the time.

[The] mobile phone is an essential part of us that connects us to nearly anywhere in the world  but when you most need it the battery runs out or your sweetheart doesn’t answer or some  one doesn’t return your call. Hope, anticipation, passion and frustration concentrates on [the] mobile phone.

Well, at the very least it will provide a use for left-over Nokia inventory if the Finnish phone-makers topple.

A British woman leads the world in the women's distance throw section - but it's not battling Streatham clotheshorse Naomi Campbell - famous for her use of a Blackberry as an offensive weapon in the mid naughties. It's Jan Singleton, who threw 54m in 2006. ®

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