Thumbs up for world texting champs
Two South Korean teenagers have been crowned the fastest texters in the world after victory in the finals at New York City.
The team of 17-year-old Bae Yeong Ho and 18-year-old Ha Mok Min went thumb-to-thumb against competitors from a dozen countries to win the title.
The LG Mobile World Cup challenged nimble-fingered youths on both speed and accuracy. The winning team took home a 100,000 US dollar prize.
Second place and 20,000 dollars went to the US contestants - 16-year-old Kate Moore, who is the 2009 US National Texting Champion, and 14-year-old Morgan Dynda, the 2009 runner-up.
An Argentinian team came in third, while a Brazilian group took fourth.
"My thumbs are up for the challenge," Kate announced hours before the competition started.
But inside Manhattan's Gotham Hall, with the pressure on to text for about two intense minutes, she and Morgan fell behind the Koreans by 20 seconds after a good hour of competition dubbed Race of Death.
"New York sure is an active, lively city!" said Bae, the Korean national champion for 2008 and 2009, basking with his teammate in a crush of admirers.
He said he would save his 50,000 US dollar share of the prize to study to become an opera singer. Ha said she was saving to become an engineer.
The drill of the third annual Mobile World Cup was simple - copying words and phrases in one's native language off a monitor correctly, with no typos or abbreviations, and as fast as possible with the required capitalisation and punctuation. Some words were intentionally misspelled to test alertness.