Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Hot dog glory for champion eater

Joey Chestnut wolfed down 62 hotdogs to win his fifth consecutive Fourth of July hot dog eating contest (AP)

Joey Chestnut has wolfed down 62 hot dogs to win his fifth consecutive Fourth of July hot dog eating contest at New York's Coney Island - the equivalent of about 20,000 calories in 10 minutes.

It wasn't a personal best for the 27-year-old nicknamed Jaws, but it was enough to out-eat second-place finisher Patrick Bertoletti by nine hot dogs. Chestnut, of San Jose, California, won 10,000 dollars (£6,200) and the coveted mustard-yellow belt.

"I feel great," he said after the contest.

Chestnut started at a blistering pace but couldn't beat his own record of 68 "because I kept messing up," he said.

This year, for the first time, the annual contest in front of Nathan's Famous fast-food stand was broken into two divisions, one for men and one for women.

Sonya Thomas, known as the "Black Widow" of competitive eating, won with 40 downed hot dogs, also earning her 10,000 dollars and her own pink champion's belt.

"I'm so happy," said Thomas, of Alexandria, Virginia.

Both Thomas and Chestnut broke world records in 2009, he with 68 and she with 41.

The annual spectacle on Coney Island draws tens of thousands of holidaymakers, watching as contestants shimmy, slither and bounce as they dip hot dogs in water and cram them down their throats.

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