Joey Chestnut defends title at Nathan’s Hot Dog Contest


Eating superstar Joey “Jaws” Chestnut survived a rain delay to earn another win at Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest, eating 62 francs and buns in 10 minutes.

Chestnut defeated runner-up Geoffrey Esper and the rest of an international field of 15 contest eaters by double digits to secure his 16th title. Esper, from Oxford, Massachusetts, managed to eat 49 hot dogs and buns.

In the women’s, defending champion Miki Sudo defeated 39 1/2 hot dogs and buns to earn her ninth mustard belt. But before the men could compete, stormy weather hit Coney Island in New York City, delaying the competition by two hours.

“What an emotional rollercoaster ride,” Chestnut said after weathering the rain and wondering if the famous competition would even take place. The 39-year-old from Westfield, Indiana, first fought for the Nathan’s title in 2005 and hasn’t lost it since 2015.

His best result came in 2021 when he reached 76 hot dogs, but Tuesday’s weather disruption made a repeat impossible.

“Everyone was confused,” Chestnut said.

Sudo defeated Mayoi Ebihara’s 33 1/2 hot dogs in 10 minutes in a women’s contest that appeared to be much closer until the final count was announced. The unofficial real-time counter showed that the two leaders were level for much of the competition. A final count of the plates settled the bill.

Sudo, 37, was disappointed with her overall win, which was nine hot dogs below her all-time high. She said the competition from 27-year-old Ebihara put her off.

“I watched her for the first few minutes, which I never want to do. I never want to be distracted by the other competitors,” said Sudo from Port Richey, Fla., after the competition. “As I watched her, I fumbled with my hands. I got stuck with a heavy burp right at the start, but was able to correct it.”

According to ESPN, the annual competition at Coney Island in New York City drew contestants from England, Canada, South Korea, Japan, Brazil and Australia.

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