Dog-eaters overrun NY-NY

Jun 11, 2002 12:08 PM

Hot dog eating contests rule, especially at New York-New York. "This is like the crème de la crème of all eating events," Akron, Ohio resident Coondog O’Karma said regarding last week’s Nathan’s Famous Las Vegas Hot Dog Eating Championship at the Strip resort.

"Nothing in it except 60 pounds of hot dogs and a shot at getting to the big show (July 4) in New York (Coney Island)," O’Karma said. "Winning the international mustard belt is like getting the green jacket at the Masters."

The surprise winner, however, was a 53-year-old Las Vegas accountant (not named) who merely showed up and threw down 20 hot dogs in 12 minutes to earn a trip to New York on July 4 for the 87th annual Nathan’s International event.

O’Karma had lofty credentials in order to qualify for the 12-minute chowdown, but will have to wait until next year.

"I was at one time the world’s egg-eating champion and am the current Krispy Kreme donut titlist," O’Karma said, who ate 30 glazed donuts in five minutes, 28 seconds. "I just had to come out of retirement and win this (hot dog crown) back for the United States."

The defending world champ is 24-year-old Japanese sensation Takeru Kobayashi. Known as "Tsunami," Kobayashi obliterated a star-studded field by eating 50 hotdogs (with rolls) in just 15 minutes.

"Kobyashi is so good that everyone is really playing for second," said toruney organizer George Shea, head of Shea Communications. "The amazing thing is he weighs just 134 pounds."