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.