Belfast man Mark Cleland was crowned Irish rock-paper-scissors champion in Dublin last night.

Mr Cleland defeated Martin Brosnan in the final at dtwo on Harcourt Street and will now go forward to represent Ireland in the Rock Paper Scissors World Championships at the Beijing Olympics.

Speaking after his win Mark said: 'I can't believe I've won the title and the trip to the Beijing Olympics.

'I didn't go into the heats with any particular strategy, but as the final approached I practiced with friends and focused on improving my concentration and stamina.

'For my final throw I chose scissors. I was thinking he's going to throw paper. All the practice must have paid off and I'm thrilled and honoured to be representing Ireland at the international finals.'

The championship heats took place in 64 pubs in the Dublin area throughout March and April where almost 2,000 rock-paper-scissors athletes competed for a place in the final yesterday.

Each night, players took part on a 'best-of-three' basis, with knock-out rounds, until one person from each pub remained and went through to the national final.

The Rules of Rock Paper Scissors:

There are only three permissible throws in RPS; there are no exceptions and/or replacements:

Rock - Can be thrown any way as long as the fist is clenched.
       — Rock beats scissors
Paper - Must always be thrown in a horizontal fashion.
       — Paper beats rock
Scissors - May be thrown horizontally or vertically.
       — Scissors beats paper