Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, a renowned competitive eater, overcame a rain delay and devoured 62 hot dogs and buns in just 10 minutes to secure yet another victory at the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest. Surpassing his closest competitor, Geoffrey Esper, and a group of 15 competitive eaters from around the world, Chestnut claimed his eighth consecutive Mustard Belt and 16th overall. Despite a valiant effort, Esper, hailing from Oxford, Massachusetts, consumed 49 hot dogs and buns.
Miki Sudo, the reigning champion in the women’s competition, consumed 39½ hot dogs and buns to claim her ninth Mustard Belt. However, the men’s contest was postponed for two hours due to stormy weather in New York City’s Coney Island. Chestnut, a participant since 2005 and the holder of the title since 2015, expressed his roller coaster of emotions during the rain delay, uncertain if the renowned contest would proceed.
Last year, he consumed 63 hot dogs and buns to become the champion, but his victory was interrupted when a person dressed as Darth Vader protested. Chestnut quickly restrained the protestor before security intervened.In 2021, he achieved his highest result by eating 76 hot dogs. However, on Tuesday, the event was disrupted due to unfavorable weather conditions, preventing him from repeating his previous success.
Chestnut commented, “Everyone was affected by the disturbance.”
In a women’s event, Sudo surpassed Mayoi Ebihara’s 33½ hot dogs in 10 minutes. The competition seemed close until the final count was revealed. Throughout the contest, both leaders were tied according to an unofficial real-time counter. However, the final tally of plates determined the winner. Sudo, who is 37 years old, expressed disappointment in her victory as she fell short of her personal record by nine hot dogs. She attributed her lower performance to the strong competition posed by the 27-year-old Ebihara.
“The initial moments of the competition, I caught myself observing her, something I try to avoid. I never want to be diverted by the presence of other participants,” stated Sudo, hailing from Port Richey, Florida. “While watching her, I made some mistakes with my hands. I encountered a significant burp at the start, but managed to rectify the situation.”Contestants from various countries including England, Canada, South Korea, Japan, Brazil, and Australia participated in the annual event held on Coney Island.