Kobayashi Takes Third Straight Nathan's Title
History was made at the corner of Surf and Stillwell avenues in Coney Island on July 4, 2003, as Takeru Kobayashi of Japan won for the third time in a row the title of world champion at the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest. Kobayashi's amazing performance, eating 44 ½ hot dogs and buns in 12 minutes, enabled him to maintain possession of the Coveted Mustard Yellow International Belt.
In 2001, Takeru Kobayashi doubled the existing world hot dog eating record by downing 50 Nathan's Famous hot dogs and buns in 12 minutes. Last year, amazingly, Kobayashi broke his own world record by eating 50 and ½ hot dogs and buns (HDBs). The closest American competitor to Kobayashi on July 4, 2003, was Edward Cookie Jarvis of Long Island, NY, who consumed 30 ½ HDBs in 12 minutes to set a new American record. Behind Jarvis was Eric Booker and Rich LeFevre. A newcomer named Sonya Thomas place an impressive 5th with 25 HDBs, a new female record.
Japanese competitors have dominated the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest with Hirofumi Nakajima, Kazutoyo Arai and Kobayashi winning the Coveted Mustard Yellow International Belt six of the past seven years. Kobayashi is the first competitor to win the belt three years in a row.