NEW YORK – Takeru Kobayashi, a six-time champion of Nathan’s International Hot Dog Eating Contest in New York, staged a renegade competition Thursday in Manhattan and won by wolfing down 67 wieners in 10 minutes.
Kobayashi, 35, won by a huge margin over his closest challenger, who managed to down only 34 dogs and buns at the Independence Day event. Kobayashi’s record is 69.
Kobayashi won the Nathan’s contest held in Coney Island for six years in a row starting in 2001. He finished second three times in a row in 2007, 2008 and 2009 to his American rival, Joey Chestnut.
Kobayashi, who has refused to compete in the Nathan’s event since 2010 due to a contract dispute with the organizer, is now organizing similar contests on his own.
On Thursday, Chestnut, known to his fans as “Jaws,” won his seventh straight Nathan’s contest by downing 69 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes, devouring his own record and winning $10,000 and the mustard-yellow champion’s belt.
Chestnut beat his personal best by one wiener after winning last year’s competition with a 62-hot dog performance.
Second place was claimed by Matt Stonie, who slew 51 hot dogs.
Sonya “Black Widow” Thomas eked out a narrow victory in the women’s race by scarfing down nearly 37 wieners.