American Joey Chestnut (above) defended his title by eating 54 hot dogs in 10 minutes at the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on the 4th of July in Coney Island, Brooklyn.  Chestnut, a California engineering student, won his fourth consecutive Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating contest, defeating nemesis Takeru Kobayashi in the last three.  Kobayashi, who was a spectator this year at the contest but who did not participate due to a contract dispute, rushed the stage at the conclusion of the contest, and was arrested for obstructing governmental administration, tresspassing, and resisting arrest.

Chestnut was critical of his rival’s behavior yesterday, who some felt rushed the stage in order to upstage Chestnut and the competition.  Kobayashi won the title 6 times consecutively, from 2001-2006:

After winning the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest for the fourth straight year, Chestnut criticized his rival by saying, “If he was a real man, he’d be on the stage.”

Go to the above link see Kobayashi detained and pulled from the stage by the NYPD.

Kobayashi, a big star in his native Japan, is said to earn big money for eating competitions and in sponsorship money.  He once ate 97 hamburgers in 12 minutes in 2006, and on successive days in Japan in Hong Kong, he ate 83 vegetarian dumplings in 8 minutes and 100 pork buns in 12 minutes.  He set the Nathan’s hot dog eating record on 3 separate occasions, but those records have since been topped by Chestnut.

By taking the top prize yesterday, American Joey Chestnut won a cash prize of $ 10,000-20,000 and a year’s supply of Nathan’s hot dogs.  A few hundred thousand spectators packed Coney Island for the event, and an estimated almost 2 million watched live on ESPN.

–Crack (