Lithuania crowns fastest crawling toddler


Vilnius (AFP)

Ten-month-old Mykolas Pociunas crawled to victory Thursday to be crowned Lithuania's fastest toddler, lured across the finish line by a box of Lego plastic bricks.

Proud father Vytautas told AFP the last half metre of the race, held annually in the capital Vilnius on International Children's Day, was touch-and-go.

"We thought we wouldn't make it to the finish line. Just before it he stopped, then sat, then lay down, but finally he saw he needed to crawl to his mother" who was shaking the Lego box, Pociunas said.

Mykolas was the quickest of 25 finalists who crawled the five meter-long (16 foot) red carpet race track.

Parents and grandparents waved colourful toys, mobile phones, balloons, TV remote controls, plastic bottles and even bagels to get their tots across the finish line.

But some youngsters shunned the competition, choosing to sit it out at the starting line or turn around and crawl back less than a metre from the finish line.

A local radio station first launched the race in 1999 in a bid to raise awareness about children's rights.

"The most important rule is that the baby is still a toddler who can't walk yet. Their ages vary between nine to twelve months," organiser Jolita Pranckeviciene told AFP.