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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

Province says it is monitoring AIM’s road maintenance

The provincial transportation ministry is working closely with new road contractor AIM,… Continue reading

Princeton – a Prince Town in waiting?

The Town of Princeton has been waiting 160 years for a Royal… Continue reading

RCMP release photos of man wanted in Princeton armed robbery

RCMP have released photos and a description of the man suspected of… Continue reading

Princeton gas station attendant robbed at gun point

A man wielding a hand gun robbed the Princeton Husky on Highway… Continue reading

Motorists face significant fines for handheld device use

Roughly one-quarter of vehicle collisions in British Columbia are attributed to distracted driving

Canada to bolster screening of central China passengers for virus at 3 airports

Additional measures will include messaging on arrivals screens in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Photo reminds Salmon Arm resident of connection to former drama teacher Justin Trudeau

Prime minister remembered as being as a funny, larger-than-life person

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

‘It’s still early’: Flu rates down so far this year at Interior Health

At Kelowna General Hosptial, there have been about 50 confirmed cases

Calls for dialogue as Coastal GasLink pipeline polarizes some in northern B.C.

Coastal GasLink is building the 670-kilometre pipeline from British Columbia’s northeast to Kitimat on the coast

Coquihalla, Highway 3 to be hit with freezing rain, sparking warning to commuters

Hard to say when the freezing rain will turn to regular rainfall, Environment Canada says

‘Lift for Wills’ community fundraiser to support Penticton boy fighting cancer

This Sunday, stop by World Gym Penticton for by-donation drop-in classes, a silent auction, more.

Most Read