Woman sets new record at lobster-eating contest

A week after she gorged on bratwurst and grilled-cheese sandwiches, one of the world’s top competitive eaters gobbled down 44 lobsters in 12 minutes on Saturday to set a new speed-eating record.

Sonya Thomas, who weighs 44,5kg, humbled her bigger male competitors as she consumed 5,13kg of lobster meat, breaking the old record of 4,43kg she set last year.

All told, the five contestants scarfed down the equivalent of 113 lobsters worth about $1 000, said organiser John Hathaway.

“What a waste of good lobster,” said Mike Doherty, wincing as he watched the competitors cramming lobster meat into their mouths.

Thomas, of Alexandria, Virginia, ate the lobsters as quickly as her partner could crack them, leaving the table littered with brine and bits of shells, meat and green tomalley. Afterward, she insisted she could have eaten more.

“I like all kinds of food, but seafood is my favourite,” said Thomas, who has earned $50 000 this year on the competitive eating circuit. Next weekend, she will be competing at a crab-cake-eating competition in Delaware, she said

Thomas, known as “The Black Widow”, downed 35 brats in 10 minutes to win a competition in Wisconsin a week earlier.
A day earlier, she ate 21,5 grilled-cheese sandwiches in 10 minutes to win a title in San Diego.

Saturday’s contestants included Eric “Badlands” Booker, a 190,5kg Brooklyn man who holds the record for doughnuts (49 in eight minutes) and Jason “Crazy Legs” Conti, a 91,6kg New Yorker who holds the green-bean title (1,23kg in six minutes).

During the frenzied competition, Thomas bobbed in rhythm as she devoured lobster in small bites. Conti stuffed larger portions into his mouth. Booker, listening to music on head phones, paused occasionally to swig water from a bottle.

At one point, Thomas lifted a plastic container and drank the lobster juice. When time was called, she grabbed a last bite, her cheeks bulging like a chipmunk’s.

For her effort, the Burger King manager collected a $500 prize, along with a $1 000 appearance fee and a handmade lobster platter.

Thomas also holds records for hard-boiled eggs (65 in six minutes and 40 seconds), chicken wings (167 in 32 minutes), chicken nuggets (80 in five minutes) and armour Vienna sausage (3,76kg in 10 minutes).—Sapa-AP

On the net

International Federation of Competitive Eating

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