Japanese competitors have nearly swept the infamous Nathans Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, New York, for the past decade, but this year it looks like Americans may have a food-fighting chance.
Major League Eating executive Richard Shea says the hot dog eating championship belt is up in the air, because reigning Japanese champ, Takeru Kobayashi, is suffering from acute jaw pain.
Shea says, Kobayashi is getting physical therapy for his jaw, and he will be competing to defend his honor. But theres some speculation that he may be just playing mind games with the challenger.
Thats because American eater Joey Chestnut beat Kobayashis record with 59-and-a-half hot dogs at the Southwest regional qualifier for the Nathans contest in Arizona on June 2nd.
And the rivalry is going to make this years event, which is even featured on ESPN, bigger than ever.
Shea jokes, Competitive eating is the most popular, fastest-growing sport in the world and thats based on no data whatsoever.
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