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Joey Chestnut eats way back to Nathan's hot dog eating title

By
Allen Cone
Joey Chestnut celebrates after his victory at the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest 100th anniversary on July 4, 2016, in Coney Island. Chestnut regains his title eating 70 hot dogs and buns. The Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest has occurred each July 4th in Coney Island since 1916. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Joey Chestnut celebrates after his victory at the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest 100th anniversary on July 4, 2016, in Coney Island. Chestnut regains his title eating 70 hot dogs and buns. The Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest has occurred each July 4th in Coney Island since 1916. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK, July 4 (UPI) -- Joey Chestnut ate his way back to the hot dog eating title on Coney Island's famed Boardwalk this Fourth of July by breaking his own record.

Chestnut, known as "Jaws," scarfed down 70 hot dogs and buns while thousands watched at Nathan's Famous. The event, marking its 100th anniversary was shown live on ESPN3 and tape-delayed on ESPN.

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Chestnut, 32, had won eight titles in a row before losing to 24-year-old Matt Stonie, known as "The Megatoad, last year. In 2013, he set the record with 69 hot dogs in 10 minutes. Stonie ate 62 hot dogs last year, two more than Chestnut. They both are San Jose, Calif., residents.

In a qualifying event last month, Chestnut ate 73 1/2 dogs.

Stonie, who holds 14 eating world records, was the first winner not Chestnut or Takeru Kobayashi since 2000.

Chestnut said Stonie "woke up the sleeping giant" when he beat him out last year.

"Last year was rough," Chestnut told the crowd. "This year was the best ever."

Stonie said there were "no excuses" for his loss. He said Chestnut did an amazing job.

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Earlier in the women's event, Mikie Sudo, of Las Vegas, successfully defended her title by eating 38 1/2 dogs, beating out three-time winner Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas, of Alexandria, Va., with 35.

The contest has occurred each July 4 in Coney Island since 1916, the year Nathan Handwerker opened the legendary restaurant.

Several thousand watched the eaters on an elevated stage.

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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