July 4th Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island, Joey Chesnut scarfed down 62 hot dogs to win the title. But, across town, his mortal enemy Takeru Kobayashi ate 69. That’s one dog more than Chesnut’s 2009 world record and seven more than Chesnut ate to win the hallowed Mustard Belt yesterday.
So, who’s the real winner and why was Kobayashi not in the competition?
It seems that Kobayashi is locked in an ongoing contract dispute with Major League Eating, and was thus banned from taking on Chestnut in person. As a result, MLE is refusing to recognize Kobayashi’s score as the official record.
“I don’t know if it was a magic show or an eating contest,” MLE president Richard Shea told CNN yesterday. “Not having been there, it seems like a bit of a farce. The hot dog eating contest is on Coney Island.”
Kobayashi assembled a crowd of several hundred fans, two judges, and a whole bunch of hot dogs on the rooftop of 230 Fifth in Midtown Manhattan and ate as the Coney Island contest aired on a big screen TV alongside him.
The first annual Women’s Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest has come and gone, and Sonya Thomas is the first ever Women’s Hot Dog Eating Champion. Thomas came in as the women’s record holder, having eaten 41 hot dogs and buns in 2009, and nearly matched that number, finishing with 40 hot dogs and buns eaten in the 10-minute competition.
Juliet Lee, who led Thomas early, tied for second with Hot Dog Eating Contest rookie Stephanie Torres. Both eaters downed 28 hot dogs and buns.
Thomas will take home $10,000 for her victory, an equivalent prize to what the winner of the Men’s Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest will take home.