Koby with 49, Thomas 37
Chestnut Surprises with 32
Takeru Kobayashi of Japan sucessfully defended his title at Nathan's Famous in Coney Island by consuming 49 Nathan's Famous hot dogs and buns in 12 minutes. Sonya Thomas, who ended with 37, was on Kobayashi's heels throughout the first half of the contest and clearly pushed him harder than any American ever has.
The big surprise of the day, however, was San Jose's Joey Chestnut, a rookie who shocked a field of veteran gurgitators by consuming 32 HDBs to earn third place. Chestnut started fast and maintained his pace throughout.
Cookie Jarvis of Long Island and Kenji Oguni of Japan tied for fourth with 29. The crowd at the corner of Surf and Stillwell was unbelievable -- an estimated 10,000 fans.
The Fuji Blimp hovered high over Nathan's as ESPN aired the event live with hosts Paul Page and Richard Shea. Page will team up with Richard Shea and his brother, George Shea, in late July for the Alka-Seltzer US Open of Competitive Eating.