A Minnesota qualifying round in the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest has yielded a finalist, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Sunday.

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Chip Simpson of Slippery Rock, Pa., will go to the championship round of the contest, held over the fourth of July at New York's Coney Island. Simpson scarfed down 38 hot dogs and buns in 12 minutes at the event, beating 18 other contestants in a semifinal held at Minnesota's Mall of America in Bloomington.

Simpson, a physical therapy graduate student ranked No. 11 in the world by the International Federation of Competitive Eating, is a lifelong athlete and bodybuilder, the newspaper said.

The reigning champion of the Nathan's contest is Takeru Kobayashi of Japan.

There are over 100 competitive eating events scheduled this year. There are usually no requirements or screening process for participants, the newspaper said.