King-Hinds wins hot pepper eating contest for females

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TINIAN — Athlete and lawyer Kimberlyn King-Hinds won the 16th Pika Festival hot pepper eating contest, women’s category, on Saturday.

She received the $200 first prize. Placing second and third were Wang Yan and Maege Gio, who received $150 and $100.

The contestants had to consume 100 pieces of donne sali or Tinian hot pepper by biting each of them before spitting them out.

King-Hinds said she consumed the 100 hot peppers in three minutes.

Kimberlyn King-Hinds, center, wins the hot pepper eating contest for females on Tinian, Saturday. Also in photo are Rep. Leepan Guerrero, Tinian Mayor Edwin Aldan, Marianas Visitors Authority Managing Director Priscilla Iakopo and Miss NMI Earth-Fire Katherine Maria Johnson.  Photo by Junhan B. Todiño

“My tongue was on fire,” she said, adding she was encouraged to join the competition by her cousins because there was no female contestant representing the local community.

“That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever done,” she said in jest.

In the men’s category, Vlad Melnik finished first and received $200 while Ahman Fadel and Marc Soliva were second and third and received $150 and $100.

Tinian Mayor Edwin Aldan, in a separate interview, said the Pika Festival competitions are for everyone, locals and visitors alike.

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