New hot dog eating champ crowned

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NEW YORK (CNN) — Japanese eating icon Takeru Kobayashi, who was initially declared to have bested his longtime rival Joey “Jaws” Chestnut in an Independence Day showdown of competitive hot dog eating, was instead soundly defeated by the California native, contest officials said Thursday.

During the Crif’s Dog Classic in Brooklyn on Wednesday, officials reported that Kobayashi had scarfed down 68.5 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes.

Chestnut, who competed earlier at the better-known Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest, put down 68.

But Dan Rollman, president of RecordSetter, who was lead judge at Crif’s contest on Wednesday, said Thursday that “we realized we’d incorrectly counted the number of plates,” and that Kobayashi had instead eaten only 58.5.

“Each plate had six hot dogs,” Rollman said. “Kobayashi was given 10 plates, and left 1.5 dogs on the final plate, resulting in a revised count of 58.5 hot dogs.”

The new tally puts Chestnut squarely on top.

Koyabashi took his reversal of fortune like a champ.

“A few days prior to the contest, when I was told we’d be using this particular hot dog, I knew it would be a difficult one,” he told CNN in a statement. “It is not by any means, easy to swallow.. so from the beginning, my goal was 55. When I was told I ate 68.5, I was elated.. and of course with a number falling to 58.5 after being revised, there is disappointment.

“Still, I did my best and trust the judges have done their job correctly. I ate over my goal and I am satisfied with my performance in these conditions.”

Kobayashi didn’t participate in the Nathan’s contest — where Chestnut is the reigning champ — because of a contract dispute with Major League Eating, which limited endorsement and remuneration, his representatives said.