Joey Wins KSO V
CHATTANOOGA, TENN. - American eating sensation Joey Chestnut retained his hamburger eating title today at the Krystal Square Off V World Hamburger Eating Championship in Chattanooga, Tenn. The 24-year-old from San Jose, Calif. downed 93 Krystal hamburgers in eight minutes, ten shy of his world record mark set at last year's championship.
Billed as the highly anticipated rematch between Chestnut, the No.1-ranked eater in the world, and Japan's speed-eating legend Takeru Kobayashi, the contest quickly became a one-man show as Chestnut jumped out to an early lead and never looked back as a crowd of 10,000 cheered him on in downtown Chattanooga.
Kobayashi, a three-time Krystal Square Off winner who missed last year's championship due to a jaw injury, finished in a disappointing third place, eating just 84 Krystals, 13 less than he ate when he won Krystal Square Off III in 2006. Twenty-three-year-old rising star Patrick "Deep Dish" Bertoletti was the second-place spoiler, out-eating Kobayashi by just one Krystal.
"Chestnut's win today at Krystal Square Off V proves once again that he is competitive eating's new superstar and the undisputed number one ranked eater in the world," said Brad Wahl, vice president of marketing, The Krystal Company.
Chestnut pockets $20,000 for his win, along with the coveted Krystal Square Off Champion's Belt and Trophy made out of crystal. Bertoletti earns $10,00 for his second place finish while Kobayashi takes away $5,000. The remaining top eleven finalists receive payouts ranging from $3,000 to $500. The $50,000 total cash purse is the largest in competitive eating history.
Presented by The Krystal Company and featuring the iconic fresh, hot, small, square Krystal hamburger, the Krystal Square Off is one of the two majors in the sport of competitive eating and the only world hamburger eating championship sanctioned by Major League Eating.
"There are precious few moments in professional sports when you can watch as a competitor affirms his place in the history books. With this win today, Joey Chestnut just said to the world: I am Krystal King hear me growl," said Richard Shea, president of Major League Eating, the governing body of all stomach-centric sports. "In today's economy anybody can be negatively impacted by unforeseen circumstances. Kobayashi is feeling that impact, but if I know him he'll be back."
Today's victory was Chestnut's first win over Kobayashi in a Krystal-eating contest, and further cements his dominance over the 30-year-old Japanese eating star. Kobayashi is responsible for first bringing the sport of competitive eating into the American mainstream more than seven years ago, only to see his star fall lately after several high-profile losses.
The official results are as follows:
1. Joey "Jaws" Chestnut, San Jose, Calif. (93 Krystals)
2. Pat "Deep Dish" Bertoletti, Chicago, IL., (85 Krystals)
3. Takeru Kobayashi, Tokyo, Japan, (84 Krystals)
4. "Humble" Bob Shoudt, Philadelphia, Pa. (76 Krystals)
5. Tim "Eater X" Janus, New York, N.Y. (64 Krystals)
6. Hall "Hoover" Hunt, Jacksonville, Fla. (63 Krystals)
7. Juliet "The Lovely" Lee, Germantown, Md. (55 Krystals)
8. Crazy Legs Conti, New York, NY. (49 Krystals)
9. Rich "The Locust" LeFevre, Henderson, Nev. (47 Krystals)
10. Juris "Dr. Bigtime" Shibayama, Murfreesboro, Tenn. (43 Krystals)
11. Eric "Badlands" Booker, Long Island, N.Y. (41 Krystals)
12. Kyle "12th Eater" Brogdon, Hixson, Tenn (10 Krystals)
While this is just the fifth year of the Krystal Square Off, Krystal has been hosting eating contests ever since it first opened its doors in 1932. Indeed, Krystal's second customer, Roy Ward, claimed he could eat twice as many Krystals as French Jenkins, the chain's first customer. He did just that by eating 12 Krystals, and according to legend invented the famous Krystal Sackful in the process. The years have passed, but Krystal Lovers have never stopped challenging each other to Krystal Eating Contests. This longstanding tradition became official in 2004 with the first Krystal Square Off World Hamburger Eating Championship.
THE KRYSTAL COMPANY
Founded in 1932, Krystal restaurants have become more than sparkling-clean eateries where friendly employees serve up fresh, delicious food. Krystal has become a cultural icon and an experience that virtually every man, woman and child in the South has shared. Nearly everyone in the region has a Krystal memory. The Krystal Company is the oldest quick service restaurant chain in the South and the second oldest in the United States. The Chattanooga, Tenn.-based company currently has nearly 400 restaurants in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. For more information, visit www.krystal.com.