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Jaw injury may sideline hot-dog eating champ

NEW YORK – Takeru Kobayashi, the hot-dog eating king who recently lost his world record to an American upstart, may not fight to reclaim the title July 4 because of acute jaw pain.

An epic matchup had been brewing between Kobayashi and the American, Joey Chestnut, who earlier this month beat Kobayashi’s record by downing 591/2 hot dogs in 12 minutes at a regional contest, almost six more than the 533/4 wieners Kobayashi downed at Coney Island in New York last year.

“My jaw refused to fight any more,” Takeru “Tsunami” Kobayashi revealed on his blog Monday, describing how he cannot open his mouth any wider than a fingertip.

The slender Kobayashi, who won six consecutive July Fourth contests, has defied competitive-eating stereotypes of morbidly obese men. The Japanese man is a strapping 160 pounds, and his training includes vigorous exercise to ensure no belly fat gets in the way of eating hot dogs.

“I was continuing my training and bearing with the pain but finally I destroyed my jaw,” he wrote.


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