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Pancake contest winner dies onstage

CHERNYAKHOVSK, Russia, March 6 (UPI) -- A 48-year-old man who won a pancake-eating contest in the Russian town of Chernyakhovsk died while accepting his prize onstage, witnesses say.

Pravda reported Wednesday that Boris Isayev collapsed while walking on stage during last weekend's eating contest and began suffocating.

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Witnesses said Isayev died on the stage despite attempts to save his live by paramedics.

Authorities did not offer a possible cause of death in the competitive eating tragedy, saying such findings would come in a post mortem examination.

The pancake eating contest had been part of Chernyahkovsk's recognition of the Russian holiday of Maslenitsa, also known as Butter Week.

Pravda said Maslenitsa is recognized by Catholics as the last week before the start of Lent, while in Slavic mythology it is seen as a sun festival honoring the coming end of winter.

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