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Chestnut is chomp champ again in hot dog contest

by The Associated Press | July 5, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.
Joey Chestnut and Miki Sudo pose with 63 and 40 hot dogs, respectively, after winning the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest in Coney Island on Monday, July 4, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Frankfurter-munching phenom Joey "Jaws" Chestnut put a protester in a chokehold while gobbling his way to a 15th win Monday at the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest, powering down 63 hot dogs and buns at the annual exhibition of excess.

In a decisive chowdown comeback, women's record-holder Miki Sudo downed 40 wieners and buns to win the women's title after skipping last year's frank fest because she was pregnant.

A spectator wearing a Darth Vader mask rushed the stage, momentarily disrupting the competition. Chestnut put the protester in a brief chokehold before contest officials hurried over and escorted the intruder away.

Another protester in a stormtrooper mask had also snuck behind the competitors and hoisted a sign saying, "Expose Smithfield's Deathstar." Smithfield manufactures Nathan's famous hotdogs.

After the altercation, Chestnut went back to the task at hand: Devouring more hot dogs.

Monday marked the contest's return to its traditional location outside Nathan's flagship shop in Brooklyn's Coney Island neighborhood. The event was relocated in 2020 and last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"It's beautiful to be back here" in front of a throng of spectators, Chestnut told ESPN after his feat, which the 38-year-old managed while wearing a surgical boot because of a leg injury.

"It hurts, but I was in the zone for a little bit. I was ignoring it," said Chestnut, but the pain eventually slowed his pace in the 10-minute competition.

Last year, the Westfield, Indiana, resident topped his own record by consuming 76 franks and buns.

  photo  Joey Chestnut reacts after winning the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest in Coney Island on Monday, July 4, 2022, in New York. Chestnut at 63 hotdogs to win the men's division of the contest. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)
 
 
  photo  Miki Sudo competes in the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest in Coney Island on Monday, July 4, 2022, in New York. Sudo ate 40 hot dogs to win the women's division of the contest. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)
 
 
  photo  Miki Sudo helps raise her trophy after eating 40 hot dogs to win the women's division of the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest in Coney Island on Monday, July 4, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)
 
 
  photo  Michelle Lesco competes in the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest in Coney Island on Monday, July 4, 2022, in New York. Miki Sudo won the women's title, Lesco came in second. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)
 
 
  photo  Competitive eater Joey Chestnut poses for photos with 76 hot dogs at a weigh-in before the Nathan's Famous July Fourth hot dog eating contest, Friday, July 1, 2022, in New York. Chestnut is seeking to set a new world record this year.(AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)
 
 

Print Headline: Chestnut is chomp champ again in hot dog contest

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