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Chomp champ Chestnut sets another July 4th hot dog eating record

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Jaws: Joe Chestnut clebrates his record-setting win in the 2021 Nathan's Famous 4th Of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest./AFP
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Jul 05, 2021 - 03:54 AM

NEW YORK — Reigning champion Joey “Jaws” Chestnut wolfed down 76 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes to break his own record in winning a 14th Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest on Sunday.

The world’s top-ranked hot dog devourer gulped down 26 more frankfurters and buns than runner-up Geoffrey Esper, and one more than Chesnut ate in winning the annual Fourth of July holiday event last year.

“It just felt good,” Chestnut told broadcaster ESPN of chowing down in front of fans again after last year’s contest was held indoors without spectators because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Even if I was uncomfortable, having everybody cheer me and push me, it made me feel good.”

Lingering pandemic restrictions meant the contest wasn’t held outside the Nathan’s hot dog shop at Brooklyn’s Coney Island, but at a nearby minor league baseball park with 5,000 spectators.

Chestnut has now won 14 of the last 15 contests since he defeated six-time defending champion Takeru Kobayashi of Japan in 2007. His only defeat in that time was to Matt Stonie in 2015.

Michelle Lesco downed 30 3/4 hot dogs and buns to win the women’s title ahead of Sarah Rodriguez.

Seven-time champion Miki Sudo didn’t defend her title. She’s expecting her first child later this month.

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