Men's hot dog champ retains 'mustard belt,' wins fiancee

The defending champion of the annual Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest held on to his "mustard belt" Friday in Coney Island.

Joey "Jaws" Chestnut of San Jose downed 61 hot dogs in 10 minutes. It's been a good day for Chestnut – he also proposed to his girlfriend before the competition Friday, and she said yes.


Last year, the mustard belt champ ate a record 69 hot dogs. This is Chestnut's eighth straight victory.

Matt Stonie, also of San Jose and the second-place winner from last year and this year, ate only 56 hot dogs.

The defending women's champion was out-eaten, though.

Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas lost her mustard belt – the first time she's lost since the 2011 creation of the women's belt. She downed 27-3/4 hot dogs in 10 minutes.

But it wasn't enough. Fourth-ranked – and new champion – Miki Sudo of Las Vegas put away 34 hot dogs.

According to the legend, the first contest was on July 4, 1916, when four immigrants held a hot dog eating contest at Nathan's Famous original stand on Coney Island to settle an argument about who was the most patriotic.

Coney Island's top four competitors weighed in Thursday at a pre-contest event presided over by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

"Now, tomorrow, rain or shine, tens of thousands of people will descend on Coney Island to relish the great hot dog contest," De Blasio said at the weigh-in. "That was my first attempt at a pun – to relish it. Get it, everyone?"

Chestnut weighed in at a solid 205 pounds, 75 more than his top competitor, Stonie.

For the women, Thomas weighed in at a mere 100 pounds, will Sudo weighed in at 115 pounds.

All the competitors said they were fasting, but Irish contestant Colin Shirlow grabbed a free hot dog during the weigh-in, the Associated Press reported.

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