Skinny man claims new world record

St Petersburg, Russia - A Russian man on Monday claimed to have set a new world record - for fasting.

A bearded and hollow-cheeked Agasi Vartanyan finished what he said was his 50th day without food, climbing out of plastic cube on the banks of the Neva River outside of St Petersburg - and promptly berating reporters.

"I feel offended because my efforts did not attract much attention," the 46-year-old said. "Only local media wrote about it."

He then hopped into a waiting car and drove away by himself.

Doctors who examined Vartanyan said he lost 23kg during the ordeal, dropping to 72kg.

A spokesperson, Lybov Kobzar, told reporters that Vartanyan drank about three litres of water a day. To pass the time, he watched TV, listened to the radio, and talked on his cellphone. As the weather in the northern Russian city turned colder, he got an electric heater.

Beginning his attempt on August 27, Vartanyan said he was inspired by a similar effort by stuntman and illusionist David Blaine, who fasted for 44 days in 2003 while suspended acrylic box over the Thames River in London.

Vartanyan said he planned on submitting documentation of his efforts to the Guinness Book of World Records. - Sapa-AP


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