An Estonian couple have beaten 22 couples from six countries, including Ireland to win the 2003 Wife-carrying World Championships.
Margo Uusorg and Egle Soll cleared the 253.5 metre track, leaping over timber and wading through waist-high water, in just over a minute to capture the title for a third consecutive year.
Contestants travelled from Denmark, England, the US and Ireland for the annual event in Finland. Margo Uusorg's younger brother, Madis, and his partner Ivi Loomets finished second.
Organiser Hannu Keranen said: "We managed to set up a really challenging course this year." Some 8,000 spectators watched the event in the small town of Sonkajarvi.
The contestants don't have be husband and wife, any man and woman can compete. The Estonians introduced the efficient style of carrying their partners upside down over their backs in 1998, and have dominated the event since, winning every contest.
Estonian dominance has been so much that organisers this year set up a separate "classic" category with a stricter set of rules. The classic rules require that the woman be carried piggyback, and that she be wedded to the man carrying her.
The classic category was also won by an Estonian couple, Jaanus and Anneli Undrest, with a time of 1 minute, 12.27 seconds.
The popularity of wife-carrying has surprised even the organisers. "At first we developed this just as a show number for the local fair and thought we'd only use it for a couple of years. But it was so popular that we've kept it going," said municipal director Simo Mkinen.
According to local legend, the contest dates back to the 1800s when a local bully challenged other men in the village to prove their worth by carrying their wives through an obstacle course. The contest was revived in this new form in 1992 and has been held every year since.