Ex-champ Kobayashi crashes the stage at Coney Island hot dog contest

Takeru Kobayashi shoves hot dogs in his mouth during Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Competition on Coney Island in the Brooklyn, NY in 2006.
Takeru Kobayashi shoves hot dogs in his mouth during Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Competition on Coney Island in the Brooklyn, NY in 2006. (Seth Wenig - AP)

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By Associated Press
Monday, July 5, 2010

NEW YORK -- A Japanese eating champion who sat out this year's Coney Island Fourth of July hot dog contest upstaged the winner by crashing the stage.

Competitive eater Joey "Jaws" Chestnut gobbled his way to a fourth consecutive championship Sunday, downing 54 hot dogs in 10 minutes. But suddenly his biggest rival, six-time champion Takeru Kobayashi, tried to get onstage and wrestled with police.

"Let him eat! Let him eat!" the crowd chanted as police handcuffed the man dubbed "The Tsunami." Kobayashi, 32, did not enter this year because he refused to sign a contract with Major League Eating, the fast-food equivalent of the NFL. On his Japanese-language blog, he said he wanted to be free to compete in contests sanctioned by other groups.


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