He was carried in on an Egyptian-style sedan by four Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Stand employees, the sedan colored Mustard Yellow, like the belt he carried around his waist for the past six years. Today, once again, he walked out as the “Real American Hero” of competitive eating.
In a spectacle that was equal parts pro wrestling flash and flair mixed with county fair food, Joey Chestnut became the seven-time champion of the Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York. Today’s victory makes him the longest-reigning hot dog eating champion.
In a field where the personalities are as colorful as the flags from all the countries represented, Chestnut broke his own record by consuming 69 hot dogs and buns in ten minutes, along side such competitive eaters as Matt Stonie (2nd, 51 Hot Dogs and Buns) and Tim “Eater X” Janus (3rd, 50 Hot Dogs and Buns) in a field of 20 competitors selected from qualifiers and special invites by Major League Eating and the International Federation of Competitive Eaters.
Chestnut said that even though he has broken his own record, he is one hot dog and bun shy of his personal goal of 70 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes, so he has no plans to retire as of yet.
Chestnut won the title the first time in 2007, defeating Japan’s Takeru Kobayashi with 66 Hot Dogs and buns in 12 minutes. In 2008, the two faced off with a new 10-minute time limit and they tied at 59. The two then raced to finish a plate of five Hot Dogs and Buns first for the title, which Chestnut was able to win.
Sonja Thomas defended her title in the Women’s Division with 36 and 3/4ths Hot Dogs and Buns. This is the second time that a Women’s title has been competed for at Coney Island.