Published: Thu, July 04, 2019
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Hot dog champ Joey Chestnut: I'll ‘do what it takes' to win

Hot dog champ Joey Chestnut: I'll ‘do what it takes' to win

Joey Chestnut and Miki Sudo remain top dogs in a 103-year-old Fourth of July holiday tradition: Nathan's Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest on Thursday on Coney Island's famed boardwalk in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Like Chestnut, she expressed some disappointment in not eating more. Sudo fell short of her 37 hot dogs number from 2018, but still handily defeated the competition.

Will he ever break his own record of 74 hot dogs, or will that be the milestone that stands the test of time? Ranked No. 1 in the world by Major League Eating, he's by far the most accomplished destroyer of dogs in the history of the 92-year-old contest thanks to an eight-title streak and several world records - most of which he has since broken himself.

On the women's side, reigning champion Miki Sudo owned the competition yet again, downing 31 dogs to claim her sixth straight title.

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Chestnut, 35, of San Jose, Calif., won his 12th title by consuming 71 hot dogs in 10 minutes, defeating 17 opponents. Since dethroning the hot dog eating king Kobayashi back in 2007, Chestnut has won 11 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contests and today, he picked up his 12th.

There's nothing quite like a juicy, fully-loaded hot dog on the Fourth of July. I don't know if it was the heat, but I really can't complain.

ESPN released a documentary Tuesday featuring the rivalry between Chestnut and his longtime foe, Japan's Takeru Kobayashi, who no longer takes part in the contest.

Chestnut's next meal will probably be a "salad" and "a lot of liquid", he said. With tears in his eyes, he recalls, "I was shocked".

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