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Wiener-wolfing contest has new chomp-ion

  • Story Highlights
  • Joey "Jaws" Chestnut unseats six-time defending champion, sets record
  • Reigning champ possibly was slowed down by wisdom tooth woes
  • "My body worked for me," winner says after hard-fought swallowing scrap
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From Chris Kokenes and Shannon Troetel
CNN
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NEW YORK (CNN) -- Joey "Jaws" Chestnut unseated the six-time defending champion in Nathan's Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest on Wednesday, eating 66 hot dogs and buns in 12 minutes.

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Chestnut -- veins throbbing in his forehead -- wolfs down a dog on his way to the title and a world record Wednesday.

Six-time winner Takeru Kobayashi of Japan, nursing a sore jaw after wisdom tooth surgery, scarfed down 63 hot dogs. Last year, he edged out Chestnut by nearly two dogs, eating a then-record 53 and three-quarters to Chestnut's 52.

Chestnut, who hails from San Jose, California, set a record with Wednesday's feat of eating 66 hot dogs, the event's organizers said.

Not since Joe Frazier defeated Muhammad Ali in the 1971 bout coined the "Fight of the Century" have two contestants battled so hard. Perhaps.

At one point, Kobayashi expelled some of his half-mashed hot dogs from his mouth; those did not count in his total.

Chestnut toiled beside him, a vein throbbing in his forehead and his face bright red. Video Watch how the wiener-off went down »

"My body worked for me," Chestnut said in an interview after the contest.

Kobayashi, 29 years old and weighing in at 154 pounds, was listed as questionable prior to the event. He was receiving acupuncture treatment Wednesday morning to relieve pain in his jaw after wisdom tooth surgery.

Video from Tuesday's weigh-in showed that he could open his mouth only half way.

Chestnut, 23, weighing 215 pounds, had broken Kobayashi's 2006 record by downing 59 hot dogs at a qualifying contest in Phoenix last month.

Chestnut claims the "Coveted Mustard Yellow International Belt" and wins a one-year supply of hot dogs from Nathan's, the sponsor of the annual event, which has been held on the corner of Surf and Stillwell avenues in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn since 1916.

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Organizers said 50,000 people attended Wednesday's contest.

Chestnut is a civil engineering student at San Jose University. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

All About Competitive Eating

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