Finn Sets Mobile Phone Throwing Record

Max 'Beast from the East' Smolaks covers open source, public sector, startups and technology of the future at TechWeekEurope. If you find him looking lost on the streets of London, feed him coffee and sugar.

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Don’t bin your old phone. Throw it!

On Saturday, a new sporting record was set as teenager Ere Karjalainen hurled a mobile phone 101.46 meters at the 13th annual Mobile Phone Throwing World Championship in Savonlinna, Finland.

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The event, held in Savonlinna since 2000, is described by the organisers as an opportunity to get back for all the frustration caused by mobile devices. It was created at a time when mobile technology was still in its infancy, and phones were plagued by battery, coverage and reception issues. We’ve come a long way since then – but the organisers are still tapping into a primal urge to throw a phone as far as humanly possible.

Finland is the birthplace of the mobile phone throwing discipline, but the trend has caught on worldwide, with national competitions held in Belgium, Norway, Liechtenstein, Spain, Switzerland, US and the UK. “Mobile Phone Throwing as a phenomenon speaks to people and interests people all over the world,” states the official website of the World Championship.

At the event, participants compete in three categories. First, there’s the “traditional” over-the-shoulder throw, where the objective is to simply chuck your phone as far as possible. Then, there’s the “freestyle” category, where participants are judged on style and aesthetics. Finally, the “junior” category gives a chance to compete to children under twelve.

To be accepted for throwing, a phone has to weigh over 220 grams, which automatically excludes most modern handsets. Many events are supported by mobile phone recycling organisations and promote technology recycling.

At this year’s Championship, the second place was taken by Jeremy Gallop who represented South Africa and sent his phone flying 94.67 meters. Last year’s champion Oskari Heinonen came third with 86.94 meters.

Winner in the women’s category Jonna Mattero also came from Finland, and threw her phone 42.47 meters.

When asked about his preparations for the event, Karjalainen (pictured) responded that he simply got drunk the night before.

UK’s first National Mobile Phone Throwing Championship was organised in 2005. Since then, the events are held every August and arranged by 8th Day UK.

Earlier this year at the Belgium event, Chris Hughff representing Team GB, threw his phone 102.68 meters, but the attempt was not officially recognised by the organisers of the World Championship.

Registration for the next year’s Championship has already opened. You can sign up here.

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