US woman Sonya Thomas devours 181 chicken wings in Buffalo contest
Monday 06 September 2010
The Black Widow of eating contests gobbled up nearly 181 chicken wings in 12 minutes, devouring the national championship record in Buffalo yesterday.
"I'm so happy!" said Sonya Thomas, who ate 4.86 pounds (2.2 kilograms) of chicken wings to win the contest, besting world eating marvel Joey Chestnut at the ninth annual National Buffalo Wing Festival.
Buffalo, about 300 miles northwest of New York, is said to be the birthplace of the wings, typically fried and covered in tangy vinegar and hot sauce.
Chestnut, America's No. 1 professional eater, was favoured to win Sunday's competition. He came in second after eating 169 chicken wings, or 4.55 pounds.
This was the first time Thomas, of Alexandria, Virginia, and Chestnut, of San Jose, California, faced off in a chicken wing eating contest. They went at it "neck and neck," said Drew Cerza, the founder of the festival, which was inspired by the 2001 Bill Murray comedy "Osmosis Jones," about a compulsive eater.
"They pushed each other really hard," Cerza said. "Joey is so strong. He's got great jaw strength. But Sonya's so fast with the hand."
Thomas, who's 5 feet ( tall and weights 105 pounds, calls herself the Black Widow because she often defeats bigger male competitors — Chestnut is 6ft2 tall and weights 230 pounds — in eating contests. She set the previous wings record in 2005, when she ate 174 in 12 minutes.
She also previously set eating records for oysters, hard-boiled eggs, cheesecake and jalapeno peppers. She won her first competitive eating event in 2003.
The sprightly 43-year-old said she owed yesterday's triumph to her fancy finger work.
"Sometimes if I try to chew too much I slow down," she said. "I used my hands more than the mouth."
During the public contest, in front of thousands of people, she twirled the wings in her small fingers while quickly tearing off the meat with her teeth and lips.
Her cheeks were covered in a sheen of orange Buffalo sauce by the end.
But she said she was still hungry afterward, calling the wings "an appetizer." About an hour later, she made a guest appearance in the Ridiculously Hot Buffalo Wing Eating Contest and ate 20 more.
"The hottest wings!" she said. "I had to drink a lot of water."
- 1 Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?
- 2 Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
- 3 London council removes 'unacceptable' Stamford Hill posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
- 4 The response to my Pizza Express review has been overwhelming, and taught me a lot about journalism
- 5 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Volunteer your expertise as Tr...
£68 - £73 per day + Competitive rates of pay based on experience: Randstad Edu...
£69 - £73 per day + Competitive London rates of pay: Randstad Education Group:...
£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...