TAIPEI (Reuters Life!) - A man died just as he was about to win a university binge eating contest in Taiwan, scoffing down two buns filled with rice and cheese as well as some of his teammate's food, the college said on Friday.
The 23-year-old, described as tall and strong, vomited relentlessly, passed out and died on Thursday during the "Big Stomach King" contest at Dayeh University in central Taiwan. He had pulled ahead of 30 other teams.
"I can't say why he died," said Huang Te-hsiang, the university's dean of student affairs. "He had been in the contest before. He was a strong guy."
The graduate student, surnamed Chen, may have eaten too fast rather than too much, a campus publicist said. Chen was on course to win the five-year-old annual competition, she said. He would have won T$2,000 ($60).
Taiwan's education ministry has halted campus-based eating contests while an investigation is launched.
Reporting by Ralph Jennings