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Lightweight eats most hot dogs

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NEW YORK (Reuters) — A 100-pound mattress salesman from Saitama, Japan, known as "The Rabbit" set a world's record Tuesday by eating more than 25 hot dogs in just 12 minutes at Nathan's annual Independence Day hot dog-eating contest in Coney Island.

Kazutoyo Arai, 32, beat out his massive American challenger, reigning hot dog champ Steve "The Terminator" Keiner, 35, of Atlantic City, N.J. At 391 pounds, Keiner won the contest last year by downing 21-plus hot dogs in 12 minutes but came in this year at the middle of the pack by only eating 15 wieners and buns.

After the contest, Arai, who wolfed down 24 hot dogs during a 1997 contest, said he has been training for the Nathan's Famous event all year. He said on Monday night he ate enough "Chinese food for 10 people."

Dozens of people competed in the eating contest that has been held at Nathan's Famous hot dog stand in Brooklyn's Coney Island amusement park every Fourth of July since 1916. Contestants traveled to New York from all over the world to participate.