Odd News

Estonians best at wife-carrying

Updated: 2006-07-03 19:53
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Finishing upside down clinging to a man's back may not be the most graceful way of winning gold, but it sure helped Sandra Kullas and Margo Uusorg to the world wife-carrying crown on Saturday.

The Estonians were among 40 pairs from eight countries who competed in the annual event in Sonkajarvi, in central Finland.

Estonians best at wife-carrying
Margo Uusorj carrying Sandra Kullas from Estonia wins this year's Wife-carrying World Championships in Sonkajarvi, central Finland July 1, 2006. [Reuters]

They raced along a 250-meter track, complete with pools and hurdles, with the men running or walking and carrying the women on their backs.

The championship, being held for the 11th time, evokes the legend of robber Rosvo-Ronkainen who made people trying to join his gang run through a forest carrying heavy sacks.

Uusorg, 26, finished in 56.9 seconds, a world record, while Kullas, 19, clung to his back upside down with her legs around his neck. They beat Uusorg's bother Madis by 3 seconds.

"I was a bit nervous before the start, but when I started running it felt fine," Margo Uusorg said after the race. "I wanted to jump over the hurdles, but I was afraid I might fall and get penalty seconds."

It was Uusorg's fifth world-championship and he said it might be his last.

The winning Estonians received laptop computers and Kullas' weight, 49 kg, in beer.