Talk about a disappointing meal.
Hot dog eating legend Takeru Kobayashi chewed his way into controversy again on July 4 when record-keepers at a first-ever Bushwick frankfurter fest announced he devoured 68.5 HDBs (hot dogs and buns) — barely besting Joey “Jaws” Chestnut’s 68 HDBs at the much larger Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Competition in Coney Island — then quietly reduced the Japanese athlete’s number to 58.5 HDBs.
Authorities from the archive of human achievement RecordSetter.com admitted they made a major miscount at Kobayashi’s event, held at the pizzeria Roberta’s and sponsored by the hip hot dog shop Crif Dogs.
“Upon extensive video review … hot dog count has been revised to 58.5,” the organization posted on Twitter, explaining that the discrepancy came after officials miscounted the number of plates Kobayashi had conquered.
The news must have come as a disappointment to Kobayashi, who destroyed his rivals in the Crif Dogs Classic, but initially looked disappointed when officials ruled that he had consumed 68 HDBs during the 10-minute contest — tieing his bitter rival Chestnut’s Coney Island number.
That is until Kobayashi-backer Maggie James consulted with RecordSetter founder Dan Rollman on stage and officials updated his score to 68.5 HDBs — giving the six-time Nathan’s champ the edge over his rival from San Jose, Calif.
After getting that extra half-dog, Kobayashi leapt on the table, flexed his muscles, and pulled up his shirt to show his bulging belly.
But his excitement was short-lived — RecordSetter corrected the count about three hours later.
The organization did not respond to requests for comment.
Kobayashi, who also could not be reached before deadline, told CNN that he performed better than he expected, even considering the updated count.
“A few days prior to the contest, when I was told we’d be using this particular hot dog, I knew it would be a difficult one,” he told the news station in a statement. “From the beginning, my goal was 55.”
The hot dog setback comes two years after Kobayashi parted ways with Major League Eating, the organization that oversees the Nathan’s contest, due to a contract dispute. He was arrested in 2010 when he climbed onto the stage in Coney Island after the contest wrapped up, amid cries from a crowd of thousands that chanted: “Let him eat!”
Last year, in a one man eating extravaganza at a Manhattan rooftop lounge, Kobayashi established a contested world record of 69 HDBs, though an analysis by this newspaper revealed that he had only consumed 65 HDBs.
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