Joey Chestnut is Chomp Champ Again in July 4 Hot Dog Contest

NEW YORK (AP) — Frankfurter-munching phenom Joey “Jaws” Chestnut set a protester in a chokehold though gobbling his way to a 15th gain Monday at the Nathan’s Famed Fourth of July hot dog consuming contest, powering down 63 hot puppies and buns at the yearly exhibition of excess.

In a decisive chowdown comeback, women’s document-holder Miki Sudo downed 40 wieners and buns to win the women’s title right after skipping past year’s frank fest simply because she was expecting.

A spectator putting on a Darth Vader mask rushed the stage, momentarily disrupting the opposition. Chestnut set the protester in a short chokehold ahead of contest officials hurried in excess of and escorted the intruder away.

An additional protester in a white stormtrooper mask experienced also snuck guiding the competitors and hoisted a indication stating, “Expose Smithfield’s Deathstar.” Smithfield manufactures Nathan’s famed hotdogs.

After the altercation, Chestnut went back again to the job at hand: Devouring far more very hot puppies.

Monday marked the contest’s return to its traditional place outside Nathan’s flagship store in Brooklyn’s Coney Island neighborhood. The party was relocated in 2020 and very last year mainly because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s stunning to be back again here” in front of a throng of spectators, Chestnut informed ESPN after his feat, which the 38-12 months-previous managed although sporting a surgical boot mainly because of a leg harm.

“It hurts, but I was in the zone for a minimal bit. I was ignoring it,” said Chestnut, but the ache eventually slowed his speed in the 10-minute competitors.

Final yr, the Westfield, Indiana, resident topped his possess record by consuming 76 franks and buns.

Sudo, of Tampa, Florida, established the women’s report at 48 1/2 weiners and buns in 2020, right before taking last calendar year off whilst expecting. She and Nick Wehry — a fellow competitive eater whom she met via the Nathan’s contest in 2018 — welcomed son Max on July 8, 2021.

From dad’s arms, the little one watched his 36-year-previous mom notch her eighth Nathan’s earn. She informed ESPN afterward that she hoped he would sometime consider a information away from it.

“I want to set an illustration,” she said, “to do matters that you like and push by yourself to your absolute limitations and, when matters get complicated, to even now give it a try. And, you know, you could possibly truly just appear out victorious.”

Sudo then took in excess of parenting responsibilities though Wehry attempted for the men’s title.

In conjunction with the spectacle, Nathan’s donates 100,000 franks to the Food items Lender for New York Metropolis.