Competitive Eater Takeru Kobayashi Tackles Turkey-Gobbling Record

By Mathew Katz on November 23, 2011 12:54pm 

MANHATTAN — A day after 105-pound competitive eater Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas set a turkey-eating world record, world-renowned eater Takeru Kobayashi will make his own run at the title of top turkey gobbler Wednesday night.

Kobayashi will try to swallow more than 5.25 pounds of turkey within a 10-minute time limit — the record Thomas set at a Major League Eating (MLE) competition on Tuesday.

His attempt to shove as much turkey as possible down his gullet will start at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Turtle Bay, 987 Second Ave., and will be live-streamed on Ustream.tv.

The Japanese eater has claimed six Nathan's hot-dog eating titles, and downed 69 hot dogs in 10 minutes at an unofficial contest in August, though Major League Eating disputes that number.

Kobayashi plans to spend the next year travelling the country to raise awareness for initiatives to combat hunger, and will spend Thanksgiving Day volunteering at the Bowery Mission, a spokesman said.

Kobayashi has not been able to participate in events sponsored by MLE, the body that sanctions the world of professional eating, due to an ongoing contract dispute.

George Shea, chairman of Major League Eating, said the organization would not recognize Kobayashi's attempt, even if he does eat more than Thomas.

"Absolutely not, it's not a real contest. It's not sanctioned, it's not judged," he said.

"The World Turkey Eating championship was held yesterday. It's not going to be held in Kobayashi's dining room."

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