He's King of Coney


Daily News Staff Writer                                       For more click here

Defying gastronomic logic, Takeru (The Prince) Kobayashi inhaled an astounding 50 franks and buns, obliterating the world hot dog eating record set last year.

"I can't explain it," said eating contest veteran Hungry Charles Hardy, 37, a correction officer from Brooklyn who placed third. "He's an incredible kid."

Kobayashi, a 23-year-old recent college graduate from Nagano, Japan, said he will celebrate his victory with -- what else -- more food.

But not more hot dogs. Kobayashi had plans for a big Korean barbecue dinner.


                    2001 Champion: Takeru (The Prince) Kobayashi

                   Age: 23

                   Height: 5-feet-7

                   Hometown: Nagano, Japan

                   Weight before contest: 131 pounds

                   Weight after contest: 139 pounds

                   Odds to win: 2-1 -- defending champ, Kazutoyo

                    (The Rabbit) Arai

                   Hot dogs eaten: 50

                   (a new record, topping Arai's 25 1/8 hot dogs last year)

                  Nice to Be a Wiener