Quirky News

  • 10 July 2013, 8:38

Brits third in World Wife Carrying Championships

Matt Witko and Hattie Archer /Rex

Two Brits have won a medal in one of the world's most bizarre sporting events - the Wife Carrying World Championships.

Couples race around a 253 metre obstacle course with the 'wife' carried upside down with her legs clasped around the runner's neck.

Matt Witko and Hattie Archer came third in the event which is staged as part of the Sonkajarvi Festival in Helsinki, Finland.

Captain Witko said: "I managed to come third, which was remarkable really - I was behind two former world champions."

Captain Witko, a soldier from Wiltshire, was representing Great Britain after taking the UK title with a wife "borrowed" from a good friend.

After she was forced to drop out, he said he was inundated with offers from women willing to be carried.

His new partner was aerobics instructor Hattie Archer who added: "The water obstacles were ridiculously hard - there was a big pond and it was lined with plastic so it was quite slippy."

They were pipped at the post by Finnish couple Taisto Miettinen and Kristiina, who won gold for the fifth consecutive year.

But they still have a way to go to match the record of seven titles won by Estonian pair Madis Uusorg and Inga Klauso between 2000 and 2007.

Thousands of people flock each year to watch the race which was inspired by a 19th century Finnish legend about wives being stolen from neighbouring villages.