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article imageMan devours 54 hot dogs to retain competitive eating title (video)

By Kim I. Hartman     Jul 4, 2010 in Sports
New York - While people across America are celebrating the birth of a nation, competitive food eating contestants were slamming down hot dogs by the handful today in Nathan's famous Coney dog-eating competition. The winner ate 54 hot dog to retain his title.
Joey Chestnut today won the Nathan's Famous July Fourth International Eating Contest by eating 54 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes. Janus Eater consumed 43 for second place, with Patrick Bertoletti eating 37 to take third place.
The "Nathan's Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest" matches up 20 competitive food eaters in a hot dog-eating frenzy that begins with the contestants standing behind a 30-foot table at Nathan's flagship restaurant on Surf Avenue in Coney Island. At high noon in hundred degree temperatures the competitors to begin the historic 10-minute contest.
According to Nathan's archives, the Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest was first held in 1916, the year Nathan's opened on Surf Avenue. The contest has been held each year since then, except in 1941, when it was canceled as a protest to the war in Europe, and in 1971, when it was canceled as a protest to civil unrest and the reign of free love.
Record crowds assembled in the sweltering heat at the corner of Surf and Stillwell avenues in Coney Island under clear blue skies for the event, which was aired live on ESPN at noon today and can be seen in news highlights across the country.
With the crowd cheering on Paul Chestnut and other contestants the 20 would need to eat over 7 dogs per minute to challenge Chestnut for the title. Chestnut ate 10 more hot dogs then his closest competitor to retain his title with his fourth win at Nathan's 4th of July contest.
Hot dogs are the all-american favorite at summer cookouts and baseball games.
Hot dogs are the all-american favorite at summer cookouts and baseball games.
National Hot Dog and Sausage Council
Contestants are determined from hot dog eating contests across the country leading up to this grand finale in competitive eating held at Nathan hot dog stand.
Six-time former champion Takeru Kobayashi did not compete today but could be seen in the crowd watching the frankfurter feeding frenzy. At one point at the end of the contest he attempted to get on the stage and was stopped by security which led to arrest by the New York Police Department. Charges include resisting arrest.
ESPN news asked Chestnut his opinion on Kobayashi not competing due to contract disputes, he replied "If he was a man he would have been on the stage with me."
Major League Eaters encourages amateurs to join the contests and battle the veteran eating champions at this and other competitions held world-wide. MLE sponsors eating contests ranging from hot dogs, fries, pizza, burgers and more in many major cities.
Joey Chestnut was all smiles as he was awarded the highly coveted mustard colored Nathan's Champion's Yellow Belt.
Interest in knowing how hot dog are made and what ingredients they are made from?
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