Hot dog eating champs defend titles at annual contest – live updates

Last Updated Jul 4, 2018 1:17 PM EDT

NEW YORK — Joey “Jaws” Chestnut confronted 20 other men to win his 11th title at the Nathan’s Famous hot dog eating contest Wednesday afternoon. The renowned competitive eater from San Jose, California, chomped down a record 74 franks and buns, surpassing the previous mark of 72 dogs he downed last year.

Earlier, on the women’s side, Las Vegas super eater Miki Sudo took top prize for the fifth year in a row, downing 37 hot dogs and buns. Sudo fell short of the 41 hot dogs she consumed last year.

The annual seaside competition was held amid stifling humidity.

Sudo still beat out second-place finisher Mischelle Lesco of Tuscon, Arizona, who chowed down 28 wieners and buns.

Miki Sudo celebrates after winning the women's annual Nathan's Famous hot dog eating contest on July 4, 2018, in the Coney Island neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

Miki Sudo celebrates after winning the women’s annual Nathan’s Famous hot dog eating contest on July 4, 2018, in the Coney Island neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

Sudo, 32, was a fan favorite, drawing big cheers from the crowd during her performance, which was slightly delayed after she requested new water to soak her buns.

George Shea, the longtime host of the annual Brooklyn eat-off, quipped that Sudo was particular about the temperature and amount of water she uses while competing.

Thousands of attendees, many donning mustard-colored hot dog caps, braved 83-degree temperatures and a heat index of 91 degrees to witness the annual July Fourth competition on the Coney Island boardwalk.

A man covers his ears from noise as people attend the annual Nathan's Famous hot dog eating contest on July 4, 2018, in the Coney Island neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

A man covers his ears from noise as people attend the annual Nathan’s Famous hot dog eating contest on July 4, 2018, in the Coney Island neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

The outlandish tradition dates to 1972, though the company has long promoted what a former president acknowledged was a legendary start date of 1916.

Fan Martha Pleasant, 41, of Franklin, New Jersey, said she was attending the competitive eating competition to support her husband Dwight, who “loves wieners.”

“We are trying to knock something off my hubby’s bucket list,” she said.

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