Joey Chestnut wins Nathan’s sausage consuming contest

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It wasn’t so much Willis Reed limping on the field before Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals and inspiring his New York Knicks to win the championship, but it was Joey “Jaws” Chestnut who limped through adversity today. Monday to claim his record 15th title in the July Fourth Nathan’s Famous Sausage Eating Contest.

Chestnut, who attended the annual event Monday on crutches with his right leg in a cast, knocked down 63 hot dogs and cakes in 10 minutes. 13 less than write 76 he crushed last year, but it was more than enough for the 38-year-old to hold off nearest opponent Geoffrey Esper, who finished with 47½. Miki Sudo won her eighth female title earlier in the day.

“It hurts when I walk, but I can stand and I can eat, and I’m going to push it to the limit,” Chestnut, who recently injured a tendon in his leg while running, told ESPN ahead of the competition.

Chestnut opened an 11-sausage lead three minutes into Monday’s event and went to his seventh straight title since he was upset by Matt Stoneie in 2015. He wasn’t fazed by being bullied. a masked Darth Vader pushed his way to the front of the stage and unfolded a sign beside him mid-competition. Chestnut put in interloper a short suffocation before turning his attention to the sausages on the table in front of him.

As ESPN helpfully pointed out, Chestnut has now won one more mustard yellow belt (15) than Rafael Nadal won the French Open title. Takeru Kobayashi of Japan won Nathan’s next most popular hot dog eater titles six times in a row from 2001 to 2006.

The Independence Day spectacle, which began in 1916, returns to Nathan’s flagship venue in the Coney Island neighborhood of Brooklyn for the first time since 2019. In 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic, the contest is being held in New York. a private venue with no audience. Last year’s event was held at the home football field of the Brooklyn Cyclones minor league with limited attendance.

“We’re back! We’re back!” Major League eat broadcaster George Shea shouted before the competition began in front of a large crowd on the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenue.

“It’s great to be back here in front of an audience,” Chestnut said after winning his 15th hot dog title in 16 years. “New York is amazing and there is no place like it in the world.”

Sudo, who missed last year’s event because of her pregnancy, won her eighth women’s title eating 40 hot dogs and dumplings. Michelle Lesco, who won the 2021 title, finished second. Sudo holds the women’s record with 48½ sausages swallowed in 2020, when she won her seventh straight title.

“I know I’m excited to be back, but the feeling you get when you’re actually here is unlike anything else,” Sudo said on ESPN.

Sudo, 36, met her husband, competitive eater Nick Wehry, at the 2018 hot dog eating contest. Wehry held the couple’s son, Max, who turns a year old on Friday, while Sudo reclaims it. her title on Monday. Wehry then competed in the men’s event.

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