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The Kobayashi story • Brooklyn Paper

The Kobayashi story

Takeru Kobayashi after his arrest this year.
Photo by Butch Moran

Has Takeru Kobayashi fallen from gustatory grace? Look at his rise and fall and judge for yourself:

• 1978 — Takeru Kobayashi is born.

• 2001 — As a competitive eating rookie, Kobi doubles the former Nathan’s Coney Island hot dog-eating record by wolfing down 50 hot dogs and buns in just 12 minutes.

• 2001-2006 — Breaks his own record three times, and demoralizes Nathan’s competition six consecutive times.

• 2006 — Breaks his own world record set for speed-eating hamburgers, raising the bar to 97 burgers in 94 seconds at the Krystal Square Off.

• 2006 — Sets the world record for downing bratwurst, downing 58 sausages in 10 minutes.

• 2007 — Joey Chestnut sets a new record with 59-1/2 HDBs in a qualifying round. Kobi loses to Chestnut in the finals, 66-63, claiming a jaw injury.

• 2008 — Chestnut again upsets Kobayashi.

• 2009 — Kobi defeats Chestnut in a Pizza Hut P’Zone competition.

• 2009 — Chestnut defeats Kobayashi at the Nathan’s championship, 68-64-1/2.

• June, 2010 — Kobayashi declares his free agency, announcing that he won’t sign the Major League Eating contract.

• July, 2010 — Chestnut wins again at Coney Island, as Kobayashi is arrested for trespassing.

• November, 2010 — Kobi fails in an attempt to set the world record for speed-eating a 12-inch pizza.

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