Little did Nathan's Famous know 90 years ago when starting its International July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest that a slight (well, less slight than five years ago) Japanese man would smash recods and win year after year after year in the new millennium. Takeru "The Tsunami" Kobayashi won his sixth straight Mustard Belt, after chowing down 53.75 hot dogs. The NY Post called Kobayashi the "Bun-Zai" Warrior while the Daily News reports that second place hot dog scarfer, American Joey Chestnut who ate 52 hot dogs, blamed the Coney Island humidity on falling back (which is exactly what we predicted!).
We liveblogged yesterday's event and have to say that Chestnut's shimmying-gyrating method for competitive hot dog eating may have slowed him down - that takes a lot of energy - while Kobayashi's steadiness was impressive and seemed to bring him the victory. At any rate, it was an amazing performance from Chestnut, as he ate 20 more hot dogs this year than last - we challenge any of you to eat 20 more hot dogs in 12 minutes this time next year.
Kobayashi not only won the Mustard Belt and a big trophy, but also $25,000! That's a lot of antacid! And here are some very cool Flickr sets from Liz is Working and namida21. Plus, sunset parker met up with Kobayashi and got to try on the Mustard Belt - our jealousy knows no bounds!
Photograph by Seth Wenig/AP