Top dog: Returning champ Chestnut downs 74 wieners at annual Coney contest

for Brooklyn Paper
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A league of their own: Contestants in the women’s contest devour hot dogs and buns.
What a gal: Miki Sudo walked away with her fifth belt.
Standing room only: Thousands packed the area around Nathan’s to watch the display of gluttony.
Taking the lead: Joey Chestnut downed a new record of 74 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes.
The champ: Joey Chestnut hoists the belt yet again after winning the 2018 contest.

This contest was, frankly, amazing.

The defending men’s champion of the Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Contest, Joey Chestnut, devoured 74 hot dogs on July 4 during this year’s event, breaking the 72-dog record he set while competing last year.

Thousands of Coney Islanders and tourists packed the streets around Nathan’s Famous’s flagship frank shop to watch Chestnut and others inhale the wieners in the 10-minute face-stuffing face-off.

Festivities began at 10 am with a variety of musical acts and dance routines, followed by the women’s competition at 11 am, and the men’s at noon.

The annual dog-devouring display has occurred each Fourth of July in Coney Island since 1916, according to Major League Eating, which organizes the event.

This year, a total of 21 men and 17 women competed — all winners of prior qualifiers, where they gained eligibility to gorge on the big stage — eating their hearts out in the sunny 83-degree weather.

And for the third year running, Chestnut, from California, and New Yorker Miki Sudo won their respective contests, with Sudo swallowing an impressive 37 dogs — half the amount Chestnut managed to gobble down in the same amount of time.

Updated 6:36 pm, July 11, 2018
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