U.S. champion retains hot dog eating title

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. defending champion Joey Chestnut won the annual Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on Friday by downing 64 hot dogs in a competition that stretched into a first-ever overtime.

Chestnut, of San Jose, California, defeated six-time champion Takeru Kobayashi of Japan in the annual event held at New York’s Coney Island beach.

The two were tied at 59 hot dogs a piece at the end of the regulation 10 minutes, forcing a sudden death overtime to determine which man could eat five more hotdogs in the shortest time.

Organizers said it was the first overtime in the contest’s history.

Chestnut won the overtime, marking his second consecutive victory over Kobayashi. Kobayashi won the contest six straight times but lost the title in an upset to Chestnut last year.

Thousands of onlookers were on hand for the Fourth of July Independence Day event which Nathan’s has staged since 1916.

The winner receives $10,000, a mustard yellow belt and a year’s supply of hotdogs from Nathan’s, which began in 1916 with a small Coney Island hot dog stand and now sells food products globally.

Reporting by Angela Moore and Ellen Wulfhorst, editing by Sandra Maler