Fruitcake-eating champ crowned in Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - A 105-pound professional eater was crowned Fruitcake Champion Tuesday after downing more than two kilograms in 10 minutes and beating her nearest competitor by a single bite.

With paramedics on standby, Sonya Thomas swallowed 2.2 kilograms of the ubiquitous holiday fare. "My jaw is very tired right now," she said after outeating 405-pound Eric (Badlands) Booker of Long Island by about 3.5 grams.

The contest, believed to be a first, was sanctioned by the International Federation of Competitive Eating and kicked off Buffalo's New Year's festivities.

Despite her size, Thomas, 36, is no lightweight on the professional eating circuit. She's eaten 43 tacos in 11 minutes to claim victory in the World Champion Chicken Taco Eating Contest. She also holds the female world record for eating 24 hot dogs in 12 minutes and for eating 68 hard-boiled eggs in eight minutes.

Booker of Long Island, who holds title to pea-eating and corned beef hash-eating contests, said there were no hard feelings after his close second.

"There is no agony of defeat in this sport," he said, nevertheless blaming his loss on a miscalculation on the amount of hot coffee he'd need to wash down the cake. Booker swigged from plastic foam cups between frenetic bites shoved into his mouth with alternate hands.

Thomas' approach was more methodical: She chomped down on and shoved in larger slices with both hands, taking little time to chew
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