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Some like it really hot

A man from Sichuan province - known for its spicy food - "struck gold" after eating 47 chillies in two minutes in a competition.

The Chengdu man (centre, in striped shirt), whose surname is Xiao, beat eight other contestants from around the country to claim first prize - a chilli made of solid gold, according to the South China Morning Post.

The event on Saturday, held in Lijiang in Yunnan province, was organised by the Songcheng tourist theme park.

The nine contestants, who were mostly from outside Yunnan, gobbled the fiery peppers while sitting in barrels of water filled with chillies that had been specially selected for their spiciness.

Several competitors ended up in tears as the heat from the chillies and the spicy water stung their eyes, Chinese media reported.

Some guzzled water to keep going, while others mopped their brows furiously. One competitor reportedly threw in the towel after eating just one chilli.

The contest has sparked discussion on mainland social media websites, with several Internet users criticising it.

"The organiser is inhumane, and the participants are victims of their own greed," one commentator wrote on news portal Qq.com.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 04, 2016, with the headline 'Some like it really hot'. Print Edition | Subscribe