54 hot dogs in 10 minutes help 'Jaws' chew up competitors
Monday 05 July 2010
He came, he saw, he very nearly chundered. Joey "Jaws" Chestnut, a 26-year-old Californian with a famously-ferocious appetite, confirmed his standing as the world's greatest professional eater when he won America's most prestigious hot dog eating contest for the fourth consecutive time.
The former engineering student – who weighs a mere 16 stone – consumed 54 hot dogs in 10 minutes to win the 95th annual event, held at Coney Island every Fourth of July. His victory was relatively easy: his nearest rival for the $20,000 (£13,000) in prize money and mustard-yellow victor's belt was Tim "Eater X" Janus, who managed just 45 sausages.
The champion was nonetheless mildly disappointed at the result, having hoped to break his previous personal best of 68 and claim a new world record. "To be honest, the heat affected me," he said. "I stopped drinking water to relax my stomach several hours before the event, so I was a little bit dehydrated."
The Coney Island event, which began in 1916 and is still sponsored by its original sausage company Nathan's, has become a staple part of the star-spangled excess with which America celebrates its independence from Great Britain. The contest draws crowds of 30,000, is broadcast live on ESPN, and syndicated to over a dozen countries.
Americans enjoy 150 million hot dogs each 4 July, which according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council is enough to stretch from Washington DC to Los Angelese more than five times. Few probably eat them as Mr Chestnut does, however. He has perfected the "garbage bag" style of hot dog eating, in which he crams two sausages into his mouth, before dipping the buns in water and swallowing them separately.
The Californian is one of dozens of men and women who now make a living on the competitive eating circuit. He holds several records, including the largest amounts of pork (4.4kg) and deep-fried asparagus (3.9kg) in 12 minutes.
Creeping professionalism comes at a price, though. The run up to this year's contest was marred by the withdrawal of Takeru "The Tsunami" Kobayashi – a Japanese pro-eater who has won taken the title a record six times.
Mr Kobayashi, currently third in the world rankings, has refused to sign terms with Major League Eating, the governing body of the Coney Island contest and a string of other US events, saying he also wants to be free to compete in contests sanctioned by other organisers. Signing the required exclusive deal with MLE would have "severely limited the ability to eat and eating behavior itself", he said.
Mr Kobayashi, who is the sport's equivalent to Roger Federer, was nonetheless spotted in the crowd.
Mr Chestnut later said his Japanese rival would have taken part "if he was a real man", prompting "the Tsunam" to lose his temper and storm the stage.
Police officers arrived on the scene within seconds and arrested him.
- 1 Al Pacino on suffering from depression: 'It can last and it's terrifying'
- 2 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Perez Hilton apologises for publishing Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
Jennifer Lawrence 'nude photo hacker' claims there are hundreds more celebrity images to come
Victoria Justice on naked photo leak: 'Let me nip this in the bud right now – pun intended'
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
Ariana Grande nude photos leak: Pictures are completely fake, say singer's representatives
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain
£30000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Generalist (standalone) - Tunbrid...
£23500 - £40000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: Year 3 Primary Teacher...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Junior Web Developer / J...
£35000 - £36500 per annum: Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator (SharePoint) -...