Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest: Joey Chestnut and Miki Sudo claim victory at the event July 4 in Brooklyn, New York

CONEY ISLAND, Brooklyn — Joey Chestnut won the men’s title for the 15th time at Nathan’s famous hot dog eating contest July 4 in Brooklyn, New York.

Chestnut downed 63 franks and buns in 10 minutes, just under his record of 76 hot dogs consumed last year.

“It’s nice to be back,” Westfield, Indiana, resident Chestnut told ESPN in front of a crowd of viewers after his performance, which the 38-year-old put on with surgical boots for a leg injury.

“It hurts, but I was in the zone a bit. I ignored it,” Chestnut said, but the pain eventually slowed his pace in the 10-minute contest.

Geoffrey Esper was second with 47.5 dogs eaten.

In the women’s event, record holder Miki Sudo reclaimed the title after skipping Frankfest last year because she was pregnant.

“I knew I was excited to come back, but the feeling you get when you’re actually here is like nothing else,” Sudo said on ESPN after downing 40 sausages and buns in 10 minutes. That was just below her 2020 record, but still well ahead of runner-up Michelle Lesco, the 2021 winner.

Lesco killed 26 dogs.

Sudo, from Tampa, Fla., and Nick Wehry — a competitive eater she met at the 2018 Nathan competition — welcomed son Max on July 8, 2021.

From father’s arms, the baby watched as his 36-year-old mother scored her eighth win for Nathan. She told ESPN afterwards that she hoped he’d take a message from it one day.

“I want to make a statement,” she said, “to do things that you love and to push your absolute limits and when things get difficult, still try and come out victorious.”

On Monday, the competition returned to its traditional location outside of Nathan’s flagship store on the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues in Coney Island. The event was rescheduled in 2020 and last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Tens of thousands took part in the competition.

What you should know about the biggest day in belly-centric sport, according to Nathan’s Famous:

  • Nathan’s famous Hot Dog Eating Contest has been held in Coney Island every July 4th since 1916, the year Nathan Handwerker opened the legendary restaurant Major League Food Archive. Irish immigrant Jim Mullen won with 13 hot dogs and buns.
  • Joey “Jaws” Chestnut won his 14th title, setting a new record in 2021 after eating 76 hot dogs and buns in the 10-minute contest.
  • Chestnut, from San Jose, California, won his first title in 2007 after shooting down 66 “HDBs” and dethroning Japanese Takeru Kobayashi.
  • Miki Sudo, the number one woman in the world of hot dog eaters, set the woman’s record in 2020 with 48 hot dogs and buns. She missed the competition the following year due to her pregnancy.
  • The winners will be crowned with the coveted Mustard Yellow International Belt, the age of which is unknown.
  • During the 1920s, victories alternated between Queens’ Stan Libnitz and Brooklyn’s Andrew Rudman until Rudman won by half-exemption in 1928. According to Nathan, Libnitz reportedly accused Rudman of elbowing him in the stomach during their duel, citing oral accounts.
  • The event was canceled in 1941 in protest against World War II.
  • In 2004, Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas became the first woman to eat more than 30 dogs and buns.
  • Nathan’s Famous donates 100,000 hot dogs to the Food Bank for New York City each year prior to the event.

Copyright © 2022 WABC-TV. All rights reserved. Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest: Joey Chestnut and Miki Sudo claim victory at the event July 4 in Brooklyn, New York

Laura Coffey

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