Takeru Kobayashi, ex Coney Island hot dog-eating champ, says he would have won if he competed BY MEENA HARTENSTEIN DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

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Takeru Kobayashi, 32, was released from jail after his arrest July 4th for trespassing the Coney Island hot dog eating competition.

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      Takeru Kobayashi, 32, was released from jail after his arrest July 4th for trespassing the Coney Island hot dog eating competition.

The six-time winner of Nathan’s Famous July Fourth International Hot Dog Eating Contest, who sat this year’s competition out, says he would have won if he had participated.
“I was ready to beat the world record,” Kobayashi, 32, told AOL News, speaking through an interpreter. “When I see the record of the top, I probably would have beat that.”
Instead, the Japanese competitive eater watched this year’s event from the sidelines, claiming a contract dispute with his sponsor Major League Eating prohibited him from competing in other eating challenges without approval.
His arch-rival Joey (Jaws) Chestnut, who has won every year of the hot dog battle since 2007, rose to the top again, pounding 54 dogs in 12 minutes.
But Kobayashi still found a way to make it into the spotlight, storming the stage in a “Free Kobi” shirt and landing himself in handcuffs.
He was ultimately charged with trespassing, resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration, and since he is not a U.S. citizen, his immigration lawyers told AOL that the charges against Kobayashi could affect his visa. He is scheduled to appear in court Aug. 5.
Chestnut has questioned Kobayashi’s excuse for avoiding the competition this year, saying his nemesis dropped out because he was afraid of losing again. Since Chestnut toppled Kobayashi four years ago, the two have battled head-to-head for the title of top eater, though Kobayashi continually finished in second place.
Kobayashi entered the fray of competitive eating in 2001, doubling the record for most hot dogs eaten in the Coney Island competition from 25 to 50. As the years went on, the numbers rose, and Chestnut currently holds the record for downing 68 hot dogs in 2009.
Despite their bitter rivalry, Chestnut wishes Kobayashi had been in the game this year. “If somebody there was a little bit closer pushing me, I would have definitely given blood to win,” he said. “I have a lot of respect for him. He’s a great eater.”
And Kobayashi is hungry to return to the competitive eating arena.  “I will still go for a long time,” says the man who once ate 17.7 pounds of cow brains in 15 minutes. “After you’re 30, your body will start to not be as young. The thing is, now you have experience and you have technique.”
The International Federation of Competitive Eating, which runs the Nathan’s event, has not decided if Kobayashi will be banned from future events, but the former champion says he will always be a force to be reckoned with in competitive eating.
“You don’t eat a lot because you can,” he said. “You learn to eat so that you can eat a lot
Hot dog-eating pro Takeru Kobayashi is trying to pick a food fight.
The six-time winner of Nathan’s Famous July Fourth International Hot Dog Eating Contest, who sat this year’s competition out, says he would have won if he had participated.
“I was ready to beat the world record,” Kobayashi, 32, told AOL News, speaking through an interpreter. “When I see the record of the top, I probably would have beat that.”
Instead, the Japanese competitive eater watched this year’s event from the sidelines, claiming a contract dispute with his sponsor Major League Eating prohibited him from competing in other eating challenges without approval.
His arch-rival Joey (Jaws) Chestnut, who has won every year of the hot dog battle since 2007, rose to the top again, pounding 54 dogs in 12 minutes.
But Kobayashi still found a way to make it into the spotlight, storming the stage in a “Free Kobi” shirt and landing himself in handcuffs.
He was ultimately charged with trespassing, resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration, and since he is not a U.S. citizen, his immigration lawyers told AOL that the charges against Kobayashi could affect his visa. He is scheduled to appear in court Aug. 5.
Chestnut has questioned Kobayashi’s excuse for avoiding the competition this year, saying his nemesis dropped out because he was afraid of losing again. Since Chestnut toppled Kobayashi four years ago, the two have battled head-to-head for the title of top eater, though Kobayashi continually finished in second place.
Kobayashi entered the fray of competitive eating in 2001, doubling the record for most hot dogs eaten in the Coney Island competition from 25 to 50. As the years went on, the numbers rose, and Chestnut currently holds the record for downing 68 hot dogs in 2009.
Despite their bitter rivalry, Chestnut wishes Kobayashi had been in the game this year. “If somebody there was a little bit closer pushing me, I would have definitely given blood to win,” he said. “I have a lot of respect for him. He’s a great eater.”
And Kobayashi is hungry to return to the competitive eating arena.  “I will still go for a long time,” says the man who once ate 17.7 pounds of cow brains in 15 minutes. “After you’re 30, your body will start to not be as young. The thing is, now you have experience and you have technique.”
The International Federation of Competitive Eating, which runs the Nathan’s event, has not decided if Kobayashi will be banned from future events, but the former champion says he will always be a force to be reckoned with in competitive eating.
“You don’t eat a lot because you can,” he said. “You learn to eat so that you can eat a lot
* reprinted from N.Y.Daily News

4 comments on “Takeru Kobayashi, ex Coney Island hot dog-eating champ, says he would have won if he competed BY MEENA HARTENSTEIN DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

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