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Sauna World Championships

It's the event where competitors work up more of a sweat than anyone at the Olympic Games, just by sitting still.

The 10th annual Sauna World Championship took place in Heinola, Finland, over the weekend, with 160 men and women from 23 countries trying to tough it out in the heat for as long as possible.

Given that their country gave the sauna to the world, it wasn't too much of a surprise to see the Finns dominating.
Competitors concentrate as the bear the intense heat during the men
Competitors concentrate as they bear the intense heat during the men's semi-finals of the World Sauna Championships.

Finnish Timo Kaukonen won the men's event by staying in the sauna for three minutes, 46 seconds.

And Tatyana Arkhipenko from Russian took the women's title with a time of three minutes, nine seconds.

If those times sound unspectacular, bear in mind that the saunas were heated to 110c, and half a litre of water was poured on the sizzling stones every 30 seconds, making it far more gruelling than the average relaxing sauna, which is 70-80c.

'It wasn't fun after two or three minutes,' admitted the contest's organiser Ossi Arvela.
Gasping for air, Reijo Juopperi of Finland makes a dash for the door during the men
Gasping for air, Reijo Juopperi of Finland makes a dash for the door during the men's semi-finals

Sauna World Championshipss

Victory: Timo Kaukonen from Finland emerges after wining the men's competition and Russian Tatyana Arkhipenko celebrates with glee winning the women's

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Two female competitors show the strain as they battle to hold out

A glowing red Jarmo Nylund of Finland gasps for air after the mens semifinals
A glowing red Jarmo Nylund of Finland gasps for air after the mens semifinals

Get me out of here: Petra Schneider of Germany panics and escapes as her competitor Silvia Pfuhl of Germany sits still in the women
Get me out of here: Petra Schneider of Germany panics and escapes as her competitor Silvia Pfuhl of Germany sits still in the women's preliminary heats

Participants cast an eye over their competition before the first event begins
Participants cast an eye over their competition before the first event begins

Vladimir Ladyzhenskiy of Russia
Vladimir Ladyzhenskiy of Russia runs out of the sauna after the heat proved to much for him to cope with

Finnish Timo Kaukonen is congratulated by his adoring fans after winning the men
Finnish Timo Kaukonen is congratulated by his adoring fans after winning the men's final
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