Nation/World

Hot dog! Eaters ready for famed NY contest

NEW YORK (AP) — A seven-time champion and the two-time women’s winner will defend their titles at the annual hot dog-eating contest on Coney Island.

Seventeen men and 13 women will compete Friday in front of a crowd of about 30,000 spectators and a TV audience of about one million in the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest, now in its 99th year.

Joey Chestnut, who tips the scale at 205 pounds, hopes to put away his competition by downing a record 70 hot dogs in 10 minutes in the raucous event held just steps from beach. Last year, Chestnut won with 69 franks and buns. Matt Stonie, who was second in 2013 with 51 dogs, returns for another run at the top spot. He weighs in at 130 pounds.

Two-time defending women’s champ Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas will try to eat more than 45 hot dogs. At 100 pounds, she’ll try to defend her title against 115-pound Miki Sudo.

The top four competitors weighed in Thursday at a pre-contest event presided over by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Each of the competitors said Thursday they were fasting, but Irish contestant Colin Shirlow grabbed a free hot dog during the weigh-in to get a first taste of the Nathan’s Famous dogs they’ll be gobbling down.



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