Javelin man pitches for phone record
By combining title-winning javelin throwing talent with frustration at his old Nokia cellphone, a Palmerston North sportsman has discovered he could be in line to break a world record.
After hearing via Facebook that his friend in Finland knew someone who could fling a mobile phone 102 metres, five-times New Zealand junior javelin titleholder Ben Langton Burnell, 20, flexed his muscles and tried to go further. While at the Massey University athletics track, he hurled his rundown cellphone more than 117 metres.
"This phone crapped out not so long ago and I didn't know what I could do with it, and then I saw the record on Facebook and thought to myself that I could smash that.
"So when I was at training this week, I gave it a go and it just floated away and landed down at the other end of the track," Langton Burnell said.
He paced it out, under the watchful eye of his flatmate and fellow athletics record holder Andy Kruy, and measured it at nearly 120m.
He is now organising a regulated world record attempt to verify the throw at the upcoming regional championship later in the month.
As a carded New Zealand athlete on track to make the 2016 Olympic Games, Langton Burnell said winning any world record would be "pretty sweet".
"I'd be stoked to be world record holder at anything, but long-term if that was on the Olympic stage with a javelin that'd be cool."
For his build-up to his measured phone-throwing moment, Langton Burnell will continue his usual javelin training regime and rely on his natural talent.
"What I do is just grab it and chuck it like a javelin, maybe I'll do a little javelin run up and, yeah, just throw it.
"I'll just come out and give it a go, and just hope I throw the distance."
His personal best for throwing a javelin is 70.65m.