Texting SA's pride

Read time 3min 30sec

SA's fastest texters Olivia Burton and Wilbur Hough have been placed 8th out of the 16 countries that competed in the 2011 second annual LG Mobile World Cup Championships in New York.

The two Protea texters returned to SA this morning, after making their country proud.

The 2011 LG Mobile World Cup winners are the sister duo, Cristina Sales Ancines (20), and Jennifer Sales Ancines (15) from Panama. The team was awarded $100 000 and were crowned the title of the fastest and most accurate texters in the world.

Colin Webster, president of Mind Sports SA (MSSA), says the MSSA is proud of the South African team's performance at the texting championships.

“Texting gives everyone in the country an equal chance because most people in SA have a mobile phone and therefore an opportunity to excel in the sport. People from all walks of life, the privileged and underprivileged, can compete equally,” says Webster.

“It's a new way of looking at competitions without barriers. It's a great achievement because the players are up against the best texters from other countries. It's an experience for people, being part of a team creates better South Africans.”

Webster points out that texting is the first contact people have with technology. He explains that it promotes computer literacy as it encourages people to become comfortable with the technology.

Breaking records

According to LG, this year's contest saw a text speed record being broken. Cheong Kit Au from Australia earned a place in the Guinness World Book of Records books by typing out a 264-character text in one minute and 17 seconds - the same pace as the unofficial Rubik's cube tempo - beating the former texting record by 43 seconds.

During the competition, players demonstrated their texting skills using the New LG Chocolate BL20 and the LG Town GT350, which served as the two official phones for the event.

Contestants from Korea placed second and took home $20 000, while team Brazil placed third, winning $10 000. In each round, contestants raced to be the first to type in phrases exactly as appeared on nearby plasma screens, with no mistakes or abbreviations.

In a statement, Cristina said: “We are thrilled to have won against the world's best texters. Meeting new friends from around the world and participating in this exciting event has been an experience that we will remember for the rest of our lives.”

Dr Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications, says: “As we look ahead, LG will continue working hard to provide extraordinary mobile experiences to our consumers with the very latest and advanced mobile technology.''

Growing sport

The selection of finalists for the LG Mobile World Cup began with a series of national texting contests in 16 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Korea, Morocco, Nicaragua, Panama, Portugal, SA, Thailand and the US. And 32 contestants were ultimately invited to New York for the grand finale.

The LG Mobile World Cup is a showcase global event that has expanded from four participating countries in 2008 to 16 in 2010. Altogether, more than 13 million people have participated in the LG Mobile World Cup since its inception, according to the electronics company.

Webster says: “I'm very pleased with the South African Protea team. They have achieved something worthwhile and have had an experience that very few people have had.

He adds: “The world is a technological world today. In South Korea, they have a huge emphasis on gaming, because they see it as building block for much of what the computing industry requires. And I think this is something that SA has to look at.”

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