Chestnut downs 66 dogs

Awesome. Joey Chestnut beat Takeru Kobayashi bringing the hot dog eating championship back to the US!

The two gustatory gladiators quickly distanced themselves from the rest of the 17 competitors, processing more beef than a slaughterhouse within the first few minutes. The two had each downed 60 hot dogs with 60 seconds to go when Chestnut — the veins on his forehead extended — put away the final franks to end Kobayashi’s reign.

Kobayashi, through a translator, promised to return for the 2008 event.

The victory by the San Jose, Calif., resident ended Japan’s long dominance of the contest. The only previous non-Japanese winner since 1996 was New Jersey’s Steve Keiner in 1999. Third place this year went to another American, Patrick Bertoletti of Chicago, with 49.

“This title’s been held by Kobayashi for six years, so it’s about time it came home,” said Chestnut, holding an American flag in his arms. “I knew going into this contest that Kobayashi was going to give 100 percent.”

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