Finnish man dies in sauna

By Lennart Simonsson

A Russian national died late Saturday in

connection with the final of the Sauna World Championships in

Finland, organizers said.

The man apparently collapsed after spending some six minutes in

the sauna that was heated to a scorching 110 degrees Celsius. Every

30 seconds the sauna’s heater is doused with water, increasing the

heat factor.

A second competitor in the men’s final, a Finnish national, was

taken to a hospital in the city of Lahti, north of Helsinki.

The championships have since 1999 been organized in the small town

of Heinola.

The competition was immediately halted after the incident,

organizer Ossi Arvela said. Police were investigating.

Competitors are required to present a medical certificate before

being allowed to take part in the competition. The winner is the man

or woman – the event has two classes – who can sit for the longest

time in the sauna.

This year 135 competitors from 15 countries were entered.

Arvela told Finnish news agency STT it was unlikely the event

would be staged again.