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Joey ‘Jaws’ Chestnut regains title in Coney Island hot dog eating contest

In this July 4, 2015, file photo, Joey Chestnut, left, and Matt Stonie compete in Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest men’s competition. (Tina Fineberg / Associated Press)
In this July 4, 2015, file photo, Joey Chestnut, left, and Matt Stonie compete in Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest men’s competition. (Tina Fineberg / Associated Press)
By Michael Balsamo Associated Press

NEW YORK – Joey “Jaws” Chestnut has upset Matt Stonie to regain the championship title at the annual July Fourth hot dog eating contest at Nathan’s Famous in Coney Island.

Chestnut downed 70 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes on Monday, beating out Stonie by 17 dogs.

Both men are from San Jose, California.

Chestnut’s 70 dogs were the most ever eaten at a competition. In 2013, he set a world record by eating 69 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes.

The 32-year-old Chestnut had won eight straight competitions in a row before losing the Mustard Yellow International Belt to Stonie last year in an upset.

Contest officials said Chestnut set a new record last month when he ate 73 1/2 hot dogs and buns during a qualifying event.

Defending champion Miki Sudo will hold onto her coveted pink championship belt after winning the women’s division of the annual July Fourth hot dog eating contest at Nathan’s Famous in Coney Island on Monday.

The Las Vegas woman scarfed down 38 1/2 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes to claim the championship title – and the $10,000 that comes with it – for the third straight year.

Sudo, 30, downed 4 1/2 more wieners than prior champion Sonya “Black Widow” Thomas, 48, of Alexandria, Virginia, who devoured 34 hot dogs. Thomas had held the championship title from 2011 until she lost in an upset to Sudo in 2014.

Sudo told ESPN, which aired the event, she had prepared harder this year because she feared Thomas would try to best her.

Thousands of people – many wearing Nathan’s Famous hats – gathered along the famed Coney Island boardwalk to watch the contest. The men’s competition is later Saturday.

The colorful holiday tradition draws its share of characters. Many in the crowd wore foam hats shaped like hot dogs. One man held a sign that read: “Make America Eat Again,” a play on presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

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