Kobayashi defends hamburger-eating title in US

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee -- Japanese eating champion Takeru Kobayashi won his third straight Krystal hamburger-eating contest, setting a new world record in the process.
Kobayashi ate 97 of the small, square hamburgers in eight minutes on Saturday.

That beat the previous record of 69 burgers, which he set at the first Krystal contest in 2004.

Joey Chestnut of San Jose, California, came in second place Saturday by eating 91 hamburgers, and Pat Bertoletti of Chicago ate 76.

Kobayashi, who is from Nagano, also holds the title of hot dog-eating champion, after eating 49 hot dogs in 12 minutes at the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest at Coney Island, New York. Despite his capacity to eat, he weighs 78 kilograms.

Krystal, the oldest fast-food chain in the South, holds two-minute qualifying rounds in eight Southern cities in the months leading up to the championship.

The Krystal finals are governed by the International Federation of Competitive Eating. Founded by brothers Richard and George Shea in 1997, it regulates events for safety and keeps records on everything from meatballs to green chiles. (AP)

October 29, 2006