Friday, July 20, 2007

Estonians win international wife-carrying tournament

Recently, a couple of Estonians were adjudged the best in an international wife-carrying championship in central Finland in which more than 50 couples from various states participated.

The championship organisers borrowed the idea from a 19th century outlaw, who recruited new members of his gang only after conducting special tests for power and smartness. Some of them kidnapped women from local villages.

The modern tournament covers a distance of 253.5 metres. Contestants have to carry their women across sand, pebble, grass and asphalt strips and one-metre-deep ditches filled with water.

Bachelors can also participate in the tournament and can borrow a wife from their friends or neighbours.

According to the rules, the wife cannot weigh less than 49 kgs. Otherwise, an extra load will be added.

The tournament includes a 100-metre individual race and a relay, in which women substitute relay batons. When the woman is passed from one contestant to another, the man has to stop and have a drink.

An Estonian couple made a record of 55.5 seconds in 2000. Their record has not been outdone.

Another Estonian couple won this year's tournament with 1 minute and 1.7 seconds. The winners received a beer keg, which weighs as much as the carried wife.