Kobayashi Takes Alka-Seltzer US Open of Competitive Eating

Takeru Kobayashi of Japan won the Alka-Seltzer US Open of Competitive Eating, a three-day, three-hour elimination tournament on ESPN, to earn $10,000 and the coveted crystal Alka-Seltzer Cup.

The series, produced by the IFOCE, featured the world’s 32 top eaters. Placing second in the event and earning $5,000 was Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas of Alexandria, VA.

Sharing places three and four were Cookie Jarvis and Tim Janus, both of whom earned $2,500 for their effort. A total of $40,000 in prize money was on the line in the event, which will re-air on ESPN and ESPN2.

"This event represented the best eating talent in the world," said George Shea. "It was a hard-fought battle that produced some notable upsets, but Kobayashi and Thomas proved once again why they lead the pack in this highly competitive discipline."

Highlights of the 32-eater elimination tournament included Kobayashi devouring a stunning 13 lbs of spaghetti in 14 minutes; Eater X defeating Rich ‘The Locust’ LeFevre; Cookie Jarvis continuing his impressive run by defeating Eric ‘Badlands’ Booker in the quarterfinals; and Booker surprisingly being pushed to the brink of elimination in his first round match against tri-athlete Chris Coble, winning the 5:00 minute cheese fry eating contest by just one ounce.

In all, over $40,000 in prize money was awarded, broken down as follows:

$10,000: Takeru Kobayashi
$5,000: Sonya Thomas
$2,500: Cookie Jarvis
$2,500: Eater X
$1,250: Rich LeFevre
$1,250: Badlands Booker
$1,250: Ron Koch
$1,250: Sam Vise
$750: Jed Donahue
$750: Joe LaRue
$750: Levi Oliver
$750: Leon Feingold
$750: Brian Subich
$750: Dale Boone
$750: Carlene LeFevre
$750: Oleg Zhornitsky
$500: Scott Sayer
$500: Bob Shoudt
$500: Joey Chestnut
$500: Frank Wach
$500: Ed Taboada
$500: Shredder Goldstein
$500: Jim Reeves
$500: Chris Coble
$500: Hall Hunt
$500: Crazy Legs Conti
$500: Carson Hughes
$500: Donovan Busta
$500: Pit Pendleton
$500: Randy Harrison
$500: Don Lerman
$500: Kevin Carr
$500: Brian Seiken
$500: Lynn Curley

The IFOCE wishes to thank Alka-Seltzer and the ESPN Zone for their enormous support. The IFOCE wishes to thank the eaters, all of whom conducted themselves with the grace and fortitude of US Open champions.

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