Takeru Kobayashi, the Japanese former champion of New York's famous July 4 Independence Day hot dog eating contest, staged a renegade competition Thursday in Manhattan, which he duly won by swallowing 67 hot dogs in 10 minutes.
The 35-year-old Kobayashi won with a huge margin over the second-place finisher, who managed to eat only 34 hot dogs and buns, but finished just lower than his own record of 69.
Kobayashi won the annual Nathan's International Hot Dog Eating Contest held in Coney Island in New York for six years in a row since 2001. He finished in second place three times in a row -- 2007, 2008 and 2009 -- beaten each time by American Joey Chestnut.
He has not participated in the competition since 2010 due to a contract dispute with the organizer of the contest and has organized a similar contest on his own.
On Thursday, Kobayashi's long-time rival Chestnut won his seventh straight Nathan's contest by downing 69 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes, according to the Associated Press.