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

 

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

Warning issued after several overdoses in Castlegar

Interior Health says the overdoses appear to be the result of cocaine contaminated with fentanyl.

Mainstreams completing planting project along Mark Creek

The project is part of their initiative to educate the community about Kimberley’s watershed

Kootenay-Columbia candidates attend Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce 2019 election forum

About 120 people attended the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce 2019 election forum on Oct. 16 at the Prince Charles Theatre.

Green and NDP candidates talk strategic voting at Nelson public meeting

Wayne Stetski and Abra Brynne traded ideas but made no concessions for this election

Kimberley Riverside Campground will remain a campground, Mayor McCormick says

There will be terms to any sale of Bootleg Gap or Riverside

WATCH: Mobile glass blowing studio sets up shop in Kimberley

Mountain Grass Glass Gallery and The Glass House Experience team up to offer glass blowing workshops

Greta Thunberg meets with First Nations chief in Fort McMurray

Thunberg has turned her protest against climate change into a global movement

Canucks hang on for 3-2 win over Rangers in New York

Vancouver scores three times in first period

More beef products recalled due to possible E. coli contamination

The food safety watchdog has been investigating possible E. coli 0157:H7

B.C. VIEWS: How to get the best deal on your ICBC car insurance

ICBC slowly being dragged into the 21st century

Pot legalization has gone ‘well’, but ‘yellow flags’ on vaping: task force chair

Canada legalized cannabis for non-medical use on Oct. 17, 2018,

ELECTION 2019: Federal leaders hit final 24 hours of campaign

Many leaders remain in B.C. for the final hours of the campaign

Most Read