Chestnut, Thomas defend their hot dog eating contest titles - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Chestnut sets new world record in hot dog eating contest

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Joey 'Jaws' Chestnut, left, and Sonya 'The Black Widow' Thomas, right, both came out on top again in the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. (Source: CNN) Joey 'Jaws' Chestnut, left, and Sonya 'The Black Widow' Thomas, right, both came out on top again in the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. (Source: CNN)

(RNN) – Joey Chestnut can undisputedly eat more than anyone on the planet - including himself.

Chestnut won his seventh consecutive mustard-yellow belt as champion of the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest by swallowing down a record 69 dogs and buns Thursday.

More than 40,000 people were expected to pack Coney Island for 10 minutes of awe-inspiring scarfing, dunking and stuffing of dogs at the annual Fourth of July tradition.

Chestnut, a heavy favorite, downed 68 dogs last year to tie what was then his own world record.

That adds up to about 20,000 calories.

"I came out here, the crowd pushed me; they would not let me slow down, and its awesome," Chestnut said minutes after his victory.

Matt Stonie was considered a top contender for the title and finished with 51 hot dogs.

Sonya Thomas, the "Black Widow" of competitive eating, narrowly secured her third straight title in the women's competition earlier Thursday. She downed 36 3/4 hot dogs in 10 minutes.

Thomas crammed down a record 45 dogs last year.

For years, Thomas hung with and beat many of her male competitors until Nathan's gave women their own category and prize in 2011.

Thomas said her goal this year was to down 50 dogs. She weighs in at 105 pounds.

She's No. 3 in the Major League Eating rankings, regardless of gender.

Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs, the corner stand on Coney Island that sponsors the contest, was standing under 8' of water when Superstorm Sandy devastated the East Coast in October.

It reopened shortly before Memorial Day.

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