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Hot dog eating record shattered

Takeru Kobayashi in action.
Takeru Kobayashi in action.  

CONEY ISLAND, New York (CNN) -- Nearly doubling the world record, Takeru Kobayashi of Japan consumed 50 hot dogs in 12 minutes to win the 86th annual Nathan's Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest.

Kobayashi, of Nagano, Japan -- 23 years old and weighing in at 131 pounds -- defeated fellow Japanese competitor Arai Saitama, who placed second by eating 31 hot dogs, also breaking the record he set last year of 25 1/8.

"For the Japanese it is a day of extraordinary success," declared moderator George Shea.

With a cool hand, a 23-year-old set a world record by devouring 50 hot dogs in 12 minutes. CNN's Jeanne Moos reports (July 4)

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Kobayashi competed against 19 others from the United States, Japan, Germany, Canada and England. All were required to qualify through a series of regional contests.

"The hot dog eating contest is not only a beautiful display of athleticism, it is a fundamental way for citizens of all nations to display patriotism," said Wayne Norbitz, president of Nathan's Famous.

Kobayashi will receive a trophy, a year's supply of Nathan's hot dogs, and the coveted mustard yellow international belt.

The Fourth of July hot dog eating contest has been held at Nathan's Famous on the corner of Surf and Stillwell avenues in Coney Island each year since 1916, when Nathan Handwerker took the advice of Eddie Cantor and Jimmy Durante and invested $300 to open a hot dog restaurant.

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