New York, Jul 4 (EFE).- Joey Chestnut, the reigning king of assorted US competitive eating contests, on Monday once again secured the most important of such titles by devouring 63 hot dogs (and buns) in 10 minutes during the annual July 4 contest organized in New York City by the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog company.
Nicknamed “Jaws” for his legendary ability to put away food at high velocity, the 38-year-old Chestnut won the hot dog title for the 15th time, thus retaining the coveted Mustard Belt that since the 1970s has been presented to the winner of the competition.
Although Chestnut easily held on to the title – since the runner up in the men’s category consumed “only” 43 hot dogs and buns – he didn’t come close to breaking his record of 76 hot dogs and buns.
The event, known as Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest and held on Coney Island, was broadcast live.
This year’s event featured the appearance on the stage of an individual who apparently was trying to protest against the consumption of hot dogs wearing a Darth Vader mask – the “Star Wars” villain – but Chestnut subdued the man after he ran on stage and bumped into the champ.
There may have been some concern among spectators that because Chestnut arrived at the event on crutches – having pulled a tendon earlier this year – he might not be up to defending his title. But they needn’t have worried because, although it is not clear just exactly how he trains for the competition, when it got under way he proved to be in fine form.
Meanwhile, in the women’s category, Miki Sudo swept to victory and regained her title – which she had been unable to defend last year because she was pregnant. It was 36-year-old Sudo’s eighth triumph in the event, downing 40 hot dogs and buns before time was called, 14 more than her closest competitor.
Nathan’s is the most popular hot dog producer in New York and each Independence Day the firm sponsors the iconic contest, the best-known of the world’s competitive eating events.