The 13th annual mobile phone throwing world championship took place in the Finnish town of Savonlinna over the weekend, an occasion where a year’s worth of phone-related pent-up frustration is unleashed with an almighty skyward launch of the offending device.
Three categories of competition make up the event: over the shoulder, where contestants aim to throw the device as far as possible; freestyle, where entrants are judged on aesthetics and creativity; and one for those under 12 where younger phone users can hurl their handset in the hope of winning a prize.
Finnish lad Ere Karjalainen came top in the distance category, throwing his device a staggering 101.46 meters (332 feet), creating a new world record in the process. Boy, he must have had some real issues with his mobile to have been able to throw it that far (unfortunately the phone maker is not specified by the organizers).
Among the female flingers, Jonna Mattero managed to sling her phone the furthest, reaching a distance of 42.47 meters (139 feet). Aleksi Muukkonen won the junior category with a more modest but no less impressive throw of 39.19 meters (128 feet).
On the competition’s official website, mobile phone throwing is described as “a phenomenon [that] speaks to people and interests people all over the world,” and indeed, contestants for the 2012 event did come from far and wide.
One guy from India was smiling broadly when he pitched his handset, his disappointing effort proving that to reach a decent distance it helps if your phone has been ticking you off in the weeks or months leading up to the event, whether due to battery issues, signal dropout or simply an annoyingly small choice of apps.
It may not currently be an Olympic event, but if the cathartic act of slinging your smartphone continues to grow in popularity, might we see it introduced at the 2016 Rio Olympics? No, probably not.