Joey ‘Jaws’ Chestnut, slowed by injury, captures 15th Fourth of July hot dog eating contest title by eating 63 franks and buns

NEW YORK — Frankfurter-munching phenomenon Joey “Jaws” Chestnut eddied his way to a 15th win at Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest on Monday, eating 63 hot dogs and buns at the annual excess exhibition.

In a crucial chowdown comeback, women’s record holder Miki Sudo tumbled down 40 sausages and buns to win the women’s title after skipping last year’s Frankfurter Fest because she was pregnant.

On Monday, the competition also returned to its traditional location outside of Nathan’s flagship store in Brooklyn’s Coney Island neighborhood. The event was rescheduled in 2020 and last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s nice to be back,” Chestnut told ESPN in front of a crowd after his feat, which the 38-year-old performed while wearing surgical boots for a leg injury.

“It hurts, but I was in the zone a bit. I ignored it,” Chestnut said, but the pain eventually slowed his pace in the 10-minute contest.

Last year, the Westfield, Indiana resident surpassed his own record by consuming 76 franks and buns.

Sudo, from Tampa, Fla., set the women’s record with 48½ sausages and buns in 2020 before taking time off last year while expecting. She and Nick Wehry — a fellow eater she met at the 2018 Nathan’s competition — welcomed son Max on July 8, 2021. From dad’s arms, the baby watched as his 36-year-old mother scored her eighth Nathan’s win.

She told ESPN afterwards that she hoped he’d take a message from it one day.

“I want to set an example of doing things you love and pushing yourself to your absolute limit and when the going gets tough, still trying,” she said. “And, you know, you might actually come out victorious.”

Sudo then took over the upbringing duties while Wehry attempted for the men’s title.

In connection with the spectacle, Nathan’s is donating 100,000 Swiss francs to the Food Bank for New York City. Joey ‘Jaws’ Chestnut, slowed by injury, captures 15th Fourth of July hot dog eating contest title by eating 63 franks and buns

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