For Kobayashi's Chief Rival, Hot Dog Eating Contest Takes Surprise Turn

July 4, 2012 5:45 PM EDT | By Anthony Smith
Kobayashi
In an unexpected turn of events, Kobayashi no longer singlehandedly holds the international record. (Photo: Creative Commons)

In an unexpected turn of events, Joey Chestnut, a 28-year old from San Jose, California, has tied his rival Takeru Kobayashi with six wins, all consecutive, in The 2012 Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest. He will be going home with the title trophy over his shoulder, $10,000 in his wallet and sixty-eight hot dogs in his belly. We hope there's no turbulence on the plane.

After leaving his chief rival in the dust by a margin of sixteen hot dogs, Mr. Chestnut managed to mouth to a riled-up audience that he "[felt] good. It was a great win," while lamenting that he wished he could have eaten a world record number of hot dogs for their amusement.

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Holding an American flag to his chest, Mr. Chestnut has more than earned his nickname of Jaws. His second and third-place rivals did impressively as well, with Tim Janus of New York wolfing down fifty-two hot dogs, and Patrick Bertoletti of Chicago eating fifty-one hot dogs. Unfortunately for Mr. Bertoletti, the difference in one dog was the different in $2,500.

Takeru "Tsunami" Kobayashi, who has held the record for most wins in the contest, and whose international celebrity is in many ways responsible for its international popularity, now shares the strange, important honor. He did not choose to compete this year.

Let's hope that Coney Island sees a definitive match-up next year: Joey Chestnut vs. Takeru Kobayashi.



 

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