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One ton pumpkin wins European championship

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For the second year in a row a Belgian man has secured the title of growing the heaviest pumpkin in Europe. The behemoth vegetable weighed in at more than a ton, reported DeathRattlesSport.

Belgian farmer Mathias Willemijns’ colossal pumpkin weighed in at 1,008 kilograms (2,222 lbs), earning him the European Pumpkin Championship title in the German town of Ludwigsburg on Sunday.

The 24-year-old fell short of his pumpkin of last year, which weighed 1,190 kilograms to set a world record.

The mammoth pumpkin was grown over the course of more than a hundred days, sometimes needing up to a thousand liters of water in the summer heat. It can gain up to 30 kilograms per day.

Second place this year went to Italian Stefano Cutrupi’s 849 kilogram pumpkin, followed by Polish farmer Dominik Kedziak at 836 kilograms.
On November 5, the pumpkins will be cut into hand sized pieces.

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At the largest pumpkin festival in the world on Sunday, a Bavarian team became this year’s German champions with a pumpkin that was heavier than them all at 792.5 kilograms, reported The Local (Germany).

About 60 participants brought their pumpkins to the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin festival but as with any competition, there could only be one winner.

The Bavarian duo that came in first place for their pumpkin - Norbert Mitschke and Robert Jaser - fell short of last year’s record of just over 900 kilos with their 792.5-kilogram pumpkin.
Second place went to a participant from southern Hesse, whose pumpkin weighed 644 kilos.

The annual event held in the city of Ludwigsburg, Baden-Württemberg is the highlight of the year for pumpkin growers who battle it out for the title of having grown the heaviest pumpkin. For them, the championship marks the end of a nail-biting growing period.

In its 18th year, Ludwigsburg Pumpkin festival is the largest of its kind across the world - beating even those held in the USA or Canada. It attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors. The number of pumpkins which descend on the city during the festival - over 450,000 - outnumbers Ludwigburg’s inhabitants by more than 5 to 1.

For spectators, the record-weighing of the pumpkins is a spectacle in itself. In addition to the use of forklift trucks, three helpers were required to place the mammoth vegetables on the scales on Sunday.

The winning pumpkins qualify to enter another competition also in Ludwigsburg on October 8th - the European championships for pumpkin winners. On November 8th, the massive pumpkins will be cut into smaller pieces and given out to visitors.

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