NEW YORK (AP) – Defending champion Joey Chestnut chomped down a record 74 franks and buns to take home his 11th title at the annual Nathan’s Famous July Fourth hot dog eating contest on Wednesday.
The renowned competitive eater from San Jose, California took home the coveted Mustard Belt and surpassed his previous mark of 72 dogs and buns, which he downed last year.
On the women’s side, Las Vegas super eater Miki Sudo took home the top prize, downing 37 franks and buns in 10 minutes amid stifling humidity. It was her fifth consecutive win. She easily beat out runner-up Mischelle Lesco of Tuscon, Arizona, who chowed down 28 wieners and buns.
Sudo fell short of the 41 hot dogs that she consumed last year. The 32-year-old fan favorite said that the intense heat may have been a factor in the competition. The National Weather Service put the temperature at 83 degrees with a heat index of 91 degrees.
The women’s competition was slightly delayed after Sudo requested new water to soak her buns. George Shea, longtime host of the annual Brooklyn eat-off, quipped that Sudo was particular about the temperature and amount of water that she uses while competing.
Thousands of people attended the event on the Coney Island boardwalk, many with mustard-colored hot dog caps. The outlandish tradition dates back to 1972, though the company has long promoted what a former president acknowledged was a legendary start date of 1916.
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