Nathan’s 100th hot dog eating contest: Joey Chestnut triumphs after devouring 70 hotdogs in 10 minutes

The women’s competition also saw Miki Sudo win the race at 38.5 hotdogs

 

Rachael Revesz
New York
Monday 04 July 2016 18:45
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Joey Jaws Chestnut (second from left) takes a breath as he eats 68 hot dogs
Joey Jaws Chestnut (second from left) takes a breath as he eats 68 hot dogs

Could you eat 70 hot dogs in 10 minutes?

Stuffing buns and sausages into their mouths, shuffling on their feet, using their hands to cram food in, wiggling the sausage so it goes down their gullets easier, a look of concentration and pain on their face.

What was once a local amusement has become a national competition with six-figure salaries.

The annual Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, Brooklyn, draws thousands of people on the beach and thousands, if not millions, more on television at home.

The 2016 race was hard-fought.

One minute in, 32-year-old Californian Joey “Jaws“ Chestnut had gulped 11 hotdogs, while his rival and last year’s winner, 24-year-old Matt Stonie, had eaten just eight.

Three minutes in, the pair had swallowed a whopping 31 and 25 dogs respectively.

With two minutes left to go, Mr Chestnut was on 60 dogs, Mr Stonie 46.

Mr Stonie wiggled a sausage in with such desperation, his face red. He looked as if he was desperately fighting an urge not to throw up.

“Every time a competitor eats a hot dog, an angel gets its wings,” shouted host George Shea above the crowds.

Mr Chestnut finished with 70 hot dogs in 10 minutes - Mr Stonie had just 53. Red but pleased, Joey Jaws smiled to the crowds and raised his arms, victorious.

"He is American exceptionalism!" called out MC Mr Shea. "He is America!"

"It's his fault — he [Stonie] beat me last year and woke the sleeping giant. He made me go back to the drawing board and figure out my body again,“ Mr Chestnut told ESPN.

Mr Stonie was gracious in his defeat, and acknowledged that his rival had "brought his A-game".

Matt “The Megatoad” Stonie, the 24-year-old competitive eating champion from California, started his career with deep fried asparagus in 2001, climbing to lobster rolls in 2010, until he finally ascended the stairs of national greatness to hot dogs in 2015, dethroning Mr Chestnut, the eight-year winner.

Yet as Mr Shea introduced Mr Stonie to the stage, there were boos among the crowd, with many remaining loyal to Mr Chestnut.

In the women’s competition, Miki Sudo won the challenge with 38.5 hotdogs in 10 minutes. She beat her own 2015 record of 38 hotdogs, and dethroned Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas, who previously won three years in a row.

ESPN decided to air Wimbledon tennis over the hot dog eating competition and many people expressed disbelief, many saying the decision was “un-American”.

Miki Sudo (left) won the 2016 race versus Sonya Thomas

Not every contest has been a success. William “The Refrigerator” Perry only ate four dogs in five minutes before dropping out of the celebrity competition in 2003.

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