Joey “Jaws” Chestnut has gulped, chomped and powered his way to continuing his record-setting reign as the chowing champion at the annual Nathan’s Famous July Fourth hot dog eating contest in the US.
Shoving water-soaked buns and wriggling franks into his mouth on a hot, sunny day in New York, he downed 72 dogs and buns in 10 minutes to beat his own record and hoist the Mustard Belt for a 10th time. The San Jose, California, man bested up-and-comer Carmen Cincotti, who ate 60 franks and buns on his 24th birthday.
Miki Sudo notched a fourth straight win in the women’s competition. The Las Vegas woman ate 41 hot dogs and buns to beat Michelle Lesco, who downed 32 franks and buns.
During the men’s competition, five people were taken into custody for trying to disrupt the event, police said. The people appeared to be attempting to unfold a black banner before police stopped them and took them away. They were taken to a precinct where they were questioned and released, police said.
There’s no secret, I love to eat, and I love doing it, I love to win, so I had to figure out my body and push it to the limit.
Joey “Jaws” Chestnut
The demonstrators later issued a statement saying they were from a group called Direct Action Everywhere, and want Nathan’s to stop holding the contest.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals members separately had been giving away free vegan hot dogs outside the event, but spokeswoman Tricia Lebkuecher said the people arrested inside weren’t affiliated with PETA.
Chestnut has dominated the chowdown throwdown for years, eating 70 franks and buns last year to top his then-record and take back the title from Matt “The Megatoad” Stonie. The 25-year-old Stonie came in third on Tuesday, with 48 franks and buns.
“There’s no secret, I love to eat, and I love doing it, I love to win, so I had to figure out my body and push it to the limit,” a sweating Chestnut said after his win. The 33-year-old said he’d hoped to down even more dogs but was leaving feeling good.
One of America’s most outlandish July Fourth traditions, the contest dates to 1972, though the company has for years promoted what a former president acknowledged was a legendary start date of 1916.