Joey Chestnut gets mustard yellow belt and fiancee

Joey Chestnut gets mustard yellow belt and fiancee

Credit: Getty Images

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 04: Joey Chestnut celebrates after winning the 98th annual Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island on July 4, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Chesnut won his eighth straight Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest with 61 hot dogs. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

Print
Email
|

by Julie Walker, Associated Press

azfamily.com

Posted on July 4, 2014 at 5:14 PM

NEW YORK (AP) -- High-ranking chowhound Joey "Jaws" Chestnut dropped to one knee and proposed to his longtime girlfriend before Friday's annual hot dog eating contest, then packed away 61 franks and buns to hold onto his coveted mustard yellow winner's belt.

The San Jose, California, resident fell far short of his record last year of 69 dogs and buns, but he still easily beat second-place finisher Matt Stonie, also of San Jose, who downed 56.

"Winning was the only option," the newly engaged champion said afterward. "I wasn't going to taint today with a loss."

Chestnut took a quick timeout before the annual Nathan's Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island to make it official with his longtime girlfriend, Neslie Ricasa, who is also a competitive eater.

In the women's division, defending champion Sonya "Black Widow" Thomas lost her title to Miki Sudo.

Sudo, of Las Vegas, wolfed down 34 franks and buns. Thomas, of Alexandria, Virginia, devoured 27 3/4.

Chestnut has won eight times in a row. In 2010, his former rival Takeru Kobayashi refused to sign an exclusive contract with Major League Eating, the food equivalent of the NFL, and was banned from competition.

This year, the Japanese native, nicknamed the Tsunami, competed against five other eaters at a separate event in Manhattan in a quest to down the most hot dogs without buns in 10 minutes. He was victorious in that bun-less eat-off, downing 113 frankfurters, an event spokeswoman said.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Print
Email
|