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Air guitar world championship won by Rob ”The Marquis” Messel

The quirky event has been held in the northern Finnish town of Oulu for the last 24 years.

Rob Messel The Marquis ilmakitaran MM-kisoissa Oulussa.
Rob "The Marquis" Messel during his triumphant performance in Oulu. Image: Eeva Riihelä / Lehtikuva

One of the strangest events in Finland’s sporting calendar concluded on Friday with a first victory for US national champion Rob ”The Marquis” Messel in the World Air Guitar Championships.

The event was held on Friday evening in the city of Oulu.

Messel had previously reached the final in the air guitar championship in 2016, and told Yle afterwards that victory in the imaginary strumming competitiomn was a long-held ambition.

"It's unreal, I wanted this for so long, I pictured it happening, I hoped that I wasn't wrong and it turned out,” said a jubilant Messel. I just did the best thing I could and the rest, the scores took care of themselves, I'm honoured and I'm just stoked."

The championship has been held in Oulu for the last 24 years, and this year is part of a city-wide festival featuring other cultural events.

It is part of a clutch of weird and wonderful competitive 'world championships' hosted in Finland, including mobile phone throwing, swamp football and ice fishing.

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