VIDEO: We have a wiener! Defending champion eats 71 hot dogs for U.S. title

Joey Chestnut ate his way to 12th title at Nathan’s Famous annual July Fourth hot dog eating contest

Miki Sudo, right, reacts after eating 31 hot dogs to win the women’s competition of Nathan’s Famous July Fourth hot dog eating contest, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in New York’s Coney Island. (AP Photo/Sarah Stier)

Joey “Jaws” Chestnut ate 71 wieners and buns to secure his 12th title at Nathan’s Famous annual July Fourth hot dog eating contest on Thursday, just a few hot dogs shy of breaking the record he set last year.

In front of a crowd of fans and facing 17 opponents, the California native far exceeded his nearest competitors, but didn’t quite make or pass the 74-dog mark he reached in 2018.

When asked how he felt after the contest, Chestnut, 35, said “I feel like I should eat a couple more.

“I knew it was going to be close. I was trying hard and I was overstuffing my mouth and it wasn’t going down,” he said. “I just needed to find a way to move a little bit faster. I think it’s getting harder the older I get.”

Miki Sudo had already won the women’s competition by chomping down 31 hot dogs.

The 33-year-old fell short of her total last year of 37 frankfurters but earned her sixth consecutive title by easily beating runner-up Michelle Lesco, who wolfed down 26 hot dogs.

Like Chestnut, she expressed some disappointment in not eating more.

“It wasn’t my best number, the numbers were pretty low across the board. I don’t know if it was the heat, but I really can’t complain. I wasn’t feeling in my best shape so I’m just glad that it was enough to pull off a sixth belt,” she said.

Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas holds the all-time women’s record of 45 hot dogs in 10 minutes.

Chestnut and Sudo will each take home $10,000.

The annual eat-off started in 1972, though the company has long promoted the event with a theatrical backstory that places its start date in 1916.

Chestnut has only lost once since 2007, when he pulled ahead of longtime foe Takeru Kobayashi for the first time. An ESPN documentary released Tuesday features the two former rivals and their extreme training regimens.

“It’s not something that there’s books written about,” Chestnut says in the film, which shows him lifting his head up and down with a weight dangling from his mouth. “There’s not trainers. Everything’s trial and error.”

Kobayashi no longer takes part in the event.

Spectator George Cartolano, 40, said his favourite part of the contest was “watching them try not to regurgitate.”

Chestnut’s next meal will probably be a “salad” and “a lot of liquid,” he said. But he’ll be back next year for the franks.

“As long as I’m healthy, as long as I’m happy and competitive, you can count me in.”

Ali Swenson, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Eleven-time and defending men’s champion Joey Chestnut, left, and defending women’s champion Miki Sudo pose together during Nathan’s Famous international Fourth of July hot dog eating contest weigh-in at the Empire State Building on Wednesday, July 3, 2019, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Just Posted

No increase in property taxes for Sylvan Lake residents

Town Council passes the 2020 Tax Bylaw at Monday’s council meeting

PHOTOS: Sylvan Lake teachers say hello to students at drive through

Ecole Mother Teresa School arranged a drive through for families to say hello to their teachers

Sylvan Lake Community Partners seeking donations

Community Partners is still open and ready to help, says Jen Baliant

Sylvan Lake RCMP lay child luring charge

David Brown, 38, of Sylvan Lake was arrested on May 26 after a complaint received on May 19

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Sylvan Lake News is firmly committed to seeing you through the changes ahead, but we need your help

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Sylvan Lake News is firmly committed to seeing you through the changes ahead, but we need your help

When could a COVID-19 vaccine be ready?

When could a COVID-19 vaccine be ready?

Cancer, coronavirus are a dangerous mix, new studies find

Cancer, coronavirus are a dangerous mix, new studies find

CFL commissioner Ambrosie asks The Spring League CEO for partnership proposal

CFL commissioner Ambrosie asks The Spring League CEO for partnership proposal

Hockey Canada cancels summer camps, going virtual with training camps

Hockey Canada cancels summer camps, going virtual with training camps

NHL awards regular-season trophies for season cut short

NHL awards regular-season trophies for season cut short

Tam: NHL proposal being ‘reviewed,’ mandatory quarantine remains in place

Tam: NHL proposal being ‘reviewed,’ mandatory quarantine remains in place

Connor McDavid on NHL format: ‘Not perfect, but it’s the best we got’

Connor McDavid on NHL format: ‘Not perfect, but it’s the best we got’

Most Read