NEW YORK (AP) Joey Chestnut achieved frankfurter immortality Friday, outdueling his celebrated Japanese rival in an epic hot-dog eating contest that pushed both of the gluttonous gladiators to the brink.
In a seesaw struggle, Chestnut and Takeru Kobayashi each consumed an eye-popping 59 hot dogs in 10 minutes, forcing an unprecedented showdown that tested the very depths of their distended stomachs.
Under the glare of ESPN and facing a boisterous and sweaty crowd of thousands on Coney Island, Chestnut, the reigning champ, and Kobayashi, the six-time title holder, were forced to gobble down another five hot dogs in overtime.
The diminutive Kobayashi had hoped to reclaim the throne after last year's disappointing three-dog loss shattered his six-year winning streak.
Richard Shea, one of the founders of the International Federation of Competitive Eating, said it was the first time in his memory that the contest went into overtime.