• Spain's news in English
 

Beer drinking king dies in competition tragedy

Published: 19 Jul 2013 11:46 GMT+02:00

Shortly after winning the beer drinking prize at a festival in Spain's Murcia region, Joaquín Alcaraz Gracia began to vomit.

Before that "he was fine", explained Antonio Alcaraz told Spanish newspaper Hoy.

"He had drunk six litres of beer, and when he won he lifted the trophy.

"Then he just started to vomit without stopping and he never spoke again," Alcaraz said. 

It was a tragic end to the beer drinking competition in Murcia's Gea y Truyols district.

Rules of the competitive booze-up are straightforward. Contestants have to down as many litre-glasses of beer as they can in 20 minutes.

"But it seems Joaquín's body said enough was enough," said witness Santiago García of the man emergency officials later described as "obese".

"He started to vomit in his chair. I was one of the people who held him upright," said the man.

"He vomited a lot but I sat with him for ten minutes, and he was sleeping and snoring away," municipality vice president Pedro Rodríguez told Hoy newspaper.

Sadly, Gracia wasn't sleeping. By the time emergency officials turned up at the scene, he was in cardiac arrest.

"When he arrived in the emergency unit, his vitals signs were very weak," said workers at the local hospital he was taken to.

He died shortly afterwards.

Local mayor José Manuel Gracia told Hoy newspaper the cause of the beer drinking king's death was not yet clear.

The official defended the town's beer festival saying it had a long tradition.

But he did say that further festivities have been suspended. Local authorities have also called for a three-day official period of mourning. 

George Mills (george.mills@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
What's on in Spain: August 2015
San Sebastian has a week of festivities in August. Photo: Donostiako Festak / Flickr

What's on in Spain: August 2015

It's holiday season and towns and cities are preparing to host some of the best parties of the year. The Local gives you a round up of all the most interesting events around the country in August. READ  

Row threatens Spain's first nuclear graveyard
One of Spain's nuclear power stations Photo: Jesús Pérez Pacheco / Flickr

Row threatens Spain's first nuclear graveyard

Spain's conservative government and the central region of Castilla-La Mancha locked horns Thursday over plans to build the nation's first-ever temporary storage facility for highly radioactive waste. READ  

Parents lock child in hot car to hit Marbella shops
The girl was left with windows closed and door locked while her parents went shopping. Hallyn / Flickr

Parents lock child in hot car to hit Marbella shops

Police have arrested a couple who left their 12-year-old daughter locked in a car in the midday sun outside a Marbella shopping centre. READ  

Footballer sparks row by wearing Franco T-shirt
Portuguese footballer Nuno Silva has caused a stir by wearing a Franco T-shirt during his first press conference for a Spanish team. Screen shot: ElDiaDespues12Plus/YouTube

Footballer sparks row by wearing Franco T-shirt

The latest signing to Real Jaén FC wore a T-shirt printed with the face of the fascist dictator and after causing a stir claimed not to have a clue who the man was. READ  

Fastest economic growth in Spain since crisis
Spain recorded the eighth consectutive quarter of economic growth. Photo: AFP

Fastest economic growth in Spain since crisis

Spain’s economy is powering ahead at the fasted pace since the start of the global financial crisis in 2007. READ  

Madrid's traditional art scene goes high fashion
Vogue Like a Painting merges high fashion with high art. Photo: Sara Houlison

Madrid's traditional art scene goes high fashion

Madrid’s museums are moving away from the traditional to embrace new artistic forms and the latest brings a touch of haute couture to the capital's celebrated art scene. READ  

Finally! Spain's heatwave to end with fierce storms
A couple stand on a beach in Spain during a storm. Archive photo: Josep Lago / AFP

Finally! Spain's heatwave to end with fierce storms

One of the hottest July's on record will come to a close amid stormy weather and a drop in temperature of up to six degrees, Spain's weather agency has announced. READ  

PM backs 'xenophobic' candidate in Catalan vote
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (l) has backed controversial candidate Xavier Garcia Albiol in the upcoming Catalan elections. Photo: Lluis Gene/AFP

PM backs 'xenophobic' candidate in Catalan vote

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Wednesday backed a former mayor whose comments have been called xenophobic as his party's top candidate for regional elections in independence-minded Catalonia. READ  

Olympic Games
Tokyo 2020 logo sparks copycat calls from Spain
The new logos of Tokyo 2020 have been unveiled. Photo: Yoshikazu Tsuno / AFP

Tokyo 2020 logo sparks copycat calls from Spain

Tokyo's 2020 Olympic emblem has triggered astonishment in Europe due to its resemblance to the logo of a Belgian theatre and a separate Spanish design. READ  

Eight great commuter flats to rent in Madrid
Madrid living is much cheaper than London. Photo: Shutterstock

Eight great commuter flats to rent in Madrid

A British politician has said it is cheaper to commute to London from Madrid than pay for a flat in the UK capital. So for all those thinking of doing just that, here are ten great commuter flats in Madrid. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Gazpacho: Spaniards are going crazy for cold soup
Travel
Seven silly TripAdvisor comments about Spain
Politics
Hot or not? Politicans in Spain are rated on looks
National
Spanish town gives pets equal rights as citizens
National
VIDEO: Seagull steals camera for amazing bird's eye selfie
National
Spanish town brings in compulsory siesta law
National
Hero cops save newborn baby dumped in trash
National
Top 10 Spanish treats to keep you cool in summer
National
Catholic group calls for sex-segregated beaches
National
Spanish chef dumps Trump over racist slurs
National
Madrid mayor to rid city of dictator Franco
National
The survivor's guide to running with the bulls
National
The ten most repressive points of Spain's gag law
National
Spain celebrates ten years of gay marriage
Travel
Top ten tricks to survive the Spanish summer
National
Woof! The top ten dog-friendly beaches in Spain
National
Driver fined €80 for biting fingernails at the wheel
National
Castle for sale, one-time pad of mad queen, €15 million
National
And the most beautiful plaza in Spain is...?
Politics
Spanish mayor's rogue little toes go viral
Top that! Italy snatches pizza title from Spain
National
Diphtheria is 'Russian roulette with real bullets'
Politics
French PM takes flak for taking his kids on state jet to footy final
National
Spain's little 'prince' shamed for racist rant
National
Spain world's second best for work-life balance
Travel
Barcelona most bike-friendly city on the Med
National
British expat fury over EU referendum snub
Politics
Madrid goes mad for radical mayor Manuela
10 super Spanish drinks everyone should try
National
Are these Spain's ten most powerful women?
National
Horse deaths reveal dark side of Rocio pilgrimage
Travel
Six of the best gourmet burger joints in Madrid
Travel
The ten best places for foodies in Barcelona
Education
7 reasons for Spain's newfound love of English
Features
7 reasons why Spain's the best place on earth
National
The perks and quirks of having a baby in Spain
National
Iceland revokes order to 'kill Basques on sight'
National
Five reasons why it’s good to be gay in Spain
National
Job creation? The truth behind Spain's figures
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,279
jobs available