The 2018 edition of an annual chili pepper festival kicked off Monday in central China’s spice-loving Hunan province with a chili-eating contest in which the winner set a blistering pace by downing a gut-busting 50 peppers in just about 68 seconds.
The festival lasts until the end of August, with a fresh chili-eating contest held daily.
Winner of day one of the contest, Tang Shuaihui, cleared his plate in just 68 seconds in a contest held in nearly sweltering temperatures weather and as competitors sat in a shallow pool filled with water and three tonnes of floating chilis.
He took home a 3-gramme 24-karat gold coin for winning the competition, which is organized by a local theme park in the county of Ningxiang, China. The competition is now in its second year.
Ten contestants each held plates heaped with 50 Tabasco chili peppers and battled to be the first to finish off the red-hot fruits, while doctors watched by the side.
Tang cleared his plate before other in just over a minute.
“He finished them at an amazing speed, barely after the emcee had finished speaking,” said Sun Minying, an employee at the theme park, called the Tanhe Ancient City.