Until Saturday in the world of competitive eating, Japan's Takeru "The Tsunami" Kobayashi loomed large (however thin he himself is) as the fiercest gut around. Although skinny and from a country not often associated with tubesteaks, the dude ruled, having established a record of 53 3/4 dogs in 12 minutes at last year's annual hot dogeating contest on July 4 at Nathan's in Coney Island.
No more: American Joey Chestnut shattered Kobayashi's record over the weekend, consuming 59 1/2 wieners in 12 minutes. (Twelve minutes is the duration of all speed-eating contests sanctioned by the International Federation of Competitive Eating.)
Chestnut set the new record in Tempe, Arizona, while competing in a qualifying event for the Nathan's hot dog chow-off, considered the Super Bowl of competitive-eating contests, by those who care at least.
Kobayashi told the New York Post last year that he was thinking of retiring, preferring to go out on top without disappointing his fans. I'm hoping this new turn of events, however, has him reconsidering. A Chestnut-Kobayashi match would truly be spectacular, as Chestnut is now the only eater to rise to such Kobayashitastic heights.
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