28/08/2008

Belfast Man's Slight Of Hand Secures Irish Gold

Ireland may have finished 63rd in the Beijing Olympics, just under Bahrain and Estonia, and slightly ahead of Kyrgyzstan, but the nation can hold its head high, finishing first in the world Rock/Paper/Scissors tournament, also battled out in the Chinese capital.

Belfast man, Mark Cleland, 24, (pictured) out-witted the world's finest Rock/Paper/Scissors (RPS) players at the world final held in Beijing, which saw thousands of players from across the world take part.

After qualifying rounds, which saw Mark defeat 31 rivals in the Irish final in Dublin last May, finalists were flown to China to compete against the backdrop of the Olympic games.

Mr Cleland said: "Facing off against the finest Rock/Paper/Scissors players in the world was an intense challenge that pushed my skills to the limit.
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"I tried to look for patterns in my opponents' throws, and in the end, they played right into my hands," he said, without any sign of irony.

Mark defeated Canada's Pablo Sebastian Gatica in the final on August 23 to take Ireland's only Beijing 'Gold medal', while Sean Sears from the US was awarded the Bronze in the tournament sponsored by American beer, Budweiser.

"We set out with Budweiser to find the most talented Rock/Paper/Scissors players in the world and Mark proved to be a cut above the rest," said Matti Leshem, Founder and Commissioner of the USA Rock/Paper/Scissors League and International Rock/ Paper/Scissors Federation.

It is a popular two-person hand game, often used as a selection method in a similar way to coin flipping and for gambling.

See: www.usarps.com

(DW)

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