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Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island: Joey Chestnut and Miki Sudo are top dogs

Joey Chestnut eats 70 hot dogs to win

Joey Chestnut eats 70 hot dogs to win Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, Brooklyn, on Monday, July 4, 2016. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the annual Fourth of July hotdog-eating contest. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

He’s top dog again!

Thousands packed Coney Island to watch Joey Chestnut eat 70 franks in 10 minues at the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest Monday.

Chestnut beat last year’s winner Matt Stonie by 17 dogs.

Chestnut, who holds the competition’s record with 73 dogs and was the champ for eight years in a row, was a crowd favorite, with fans chanting “Joey, Joey” as he fought to win the competition.

“I kind of re-found myself, reinvented myself, and got myself together and the hard work paid off,” the 32-year-old said after he received his trophy and the coveted championship belt.

On the women’s side, Miki Sudo won her third straight competition, eating 38 1⁄2 dogs in 10 minutes. She bested Sonya “the Black Widow” Thomas, who holds the women’s record of 45 dogs, by 3 1⁄2.

“I can’t wait to come back next year,” said Sudo, 30.

The competitors put on a good show for a crowd that came early to Surf Avenue to check out Coney Island’s famous attraction. Some came decked out in costumes and signs cheering on the eaters.

Patrick Holden visited all the way from Indianapolis in a full sized hot-dog suit for his ninth year in a row.

“It’s inhuman, it’s uncanny,” he said of the competitors. “I’d like to think if I was eating 70 hot dogs I’d need some energy too.”

Mickey Herzog, 28, of Jersey City, has been attending the contest for 11 years. He and his friends have signs and posters of the champs.

“It’s a fun thing to do. It’s a whole production,” Herzog said.

Nathan’s turned 100 this year and the restaurant celebrated with a giant hot dog-shaped cake.

Chris Calmieri, 25, of Jackson Heights, who has been coming to the contest for a few years, said the restaurant and the competition are New York staples.

“It’s a good day to hang out. This is the best food in the world and the beach will be great later,” he said.

Amanda Houdeschell, 18, who was visiting from Canton, Ohio, took in the sights and sounds for the first time and was impressed.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” she said. “It’s so New York.”


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