November 10, 2016 / 5:05 PM / 4 years ago

Slovak brothers win burial competition with fastest, neatest grave

Winners, brothers Ladislav (L) and Csaba Skladan from Slovakia, pose for a photo during a grave digging championship in Trencin, Slovakia, November 10, 2016, where eleven pairs of gravediggers are competing in digging based on accuracy, speed, and aesthetic quality. REUTERS/Radovan Stoklasa

TRENCIN, Slovakia (Reuters) - Two brothers from Slovakia won a grave-digging competition at an international exhibition of funeral, burial and cremation services on Thursday.

Ladislav and Csaba Skladan, aged 43 and 41 respectively, dug a grave 1.5 meters deep, two meters long and 90 centimeters wide in 54 minutes in the western Slovak town of Trencin, beating 10 other two-member teams from Slovakia, Poland and Hungary as a small audience cheered loudly.

Their grave was also the neatest, a five-member jury agreed.

“We want to show and appreciate the hard work of grave diggers,” said Ladislav Striz, who established the contest last year.

“Most Slovak graveyards are so crowded and spaces between graves so narrow that we need human diggers instead of machines,” he said. “They work hard, come rain, come snow.”

“I am happy we won, it’s a satisfaction after fifteen years in this job,” Csaba Skladan said.

“I had to focus on speed today but usually, when the weather is nice and I can chat with my brother, it’s a dream job,” added Ladislav Skladan.

Reporting By Tatiana Jancarikova; Editing by Gareth Jones

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