Joey Chestnut Wins 6th Straight Coney Hot Dog Title
World champion hot dog eater Sonya Thomas crushed her previous record Wednesday in the annual showdown, wolfing down 45 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes, to the cheers of an entranced crowd.
The 44-year-old "Black Widow," weighing in at 100 pounds (45 kg), said she achieved her goal of eating her age in dogs. The Korean-American, one of 14 competitors beat her record from last year by five.
Thousands of spectators braved scorching temperatures to attend Wednesday's contest, held each year in a carnival atmosphere at Coney Island on the July 4 U.S. independence day.
Men's champion Joey Chestnut earned his sixth consecutive Mustard Belt, putting away 68 hot dogs to tie his 2009 record and take home the $10,000 prize.
Chestnut, known as "Jaws," a 28-year-old, 210-pound (95 kg) Californian, beat his 14 competitors by a wide margin -- the second-place finisher ate a mere 52 hotdogs.
The separate women's contest was created last year. "It's good, because we have smaller throats, so we can't swallow as quickly," Thomas told Agence France Presse before the competition.
When the Coney Island contest was first held 1916, the winner ate 13 hot dogs in 10 minutes.
Today, the "sport" of competitive eating has taken off in the U.S., with contestants gorging on hot dogs, chicken wings, hamburgers, crayfish, oysters or fruitcakes at a variety of events all year long.