NEW YORK (CBSDC/AP) — Sonya Thomas, of Alexandria, Va., defended her title in the women’s division of the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest Thursday.
Joey Chestnut, a 29-year-old from San Jose, Calif., downed 69 franks and devoured his own record in the men’s contest. Chesnut is 210-pound, seven-time winner who set the old record — 68 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes — in 2009 and tied it last year. With this year’s victory, he has now bested his former rival, Takeru Kobayashi, who won six times.
Thomas, a 45-year-old, 100-pound dynamo known as the “Black Widow” of competitive eating, wolfed down nearly 37 wieners to narrowly eke out her own victory. She powered through 45 dogs to take the women’s championship last year and also won in 2011, the first year women competed separately.
This year, she went toe-to-toe with Juliet Lee for the $5,000 women’s prize.
Thomas, a fast-food restaurant manager, said the challenge of shoveling down dozens of franks is actually “more mental than physical.”
Now in its 98th year, the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest draws crowds of thousands to marvel at contestants cramming frankfurters down their throats.
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