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Swedish SMS text championships kick off

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Swedish SMS text championships kick off
12:00 CEST+02:00
Sweden's nimble-fingered youth gather in Borlänge in central Sweden on Thursday to kick start the heats for the national SMS text-message championships, which culminates in a Stockholm final on August 14th.

Those with large thumbs and poor vision need not apply for the annual text message face-off. The rules are simple. Contestants receive a pre-determined text of 160 characters and must type it out in the shortest time on their mobile phones.

The competition is not just a speed test. Spelling is also important, with dictionaries and T9 predictive text technology forbidden by the competition organizers.

For those who want to train their deft fingers and sharpen their sight, this year's text is:

Skriv! SKRIIIV! Tänk inte... EN katt går på tangenterna och skriver: 9!!hk,. Var lugn och gla:D Det e ofta bra. Fort nu, sista biten! 3-2-1 nu smäller det!!?

or

Write! WRIIITE! Don't think... A cat walks on the keys and writes: 9!!hk,. Stay calm and happy:D It is often good. Fast now, the last bit! 3-2-1 now it is done!!?

Including Borlänge, there will be qualifying rounds in 12 locations across the country before the cream of Sweden's text-messager elite meet in the final in Stockholm. The winner will receive 25,000 kronor ($3,230).

Last year, 16-year-old Sture de Vries from Stockholm won the title, taking one minute and 14 seconds to hammer out the text. De Vries will return this year to try to defend his title.

Perhaps due to copious quantities of texts that he sends, de Vries is short and to the point when he revealed his finger-tapping strategy and how to keep cool under pressure.

"Focus. Don't be nervous. Take it easy," he said.

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