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Joey Chestnut downs 72 franks to with Nathan's hot dog eating contest

Joey Chestnut ate 72 hot dogs to win

Joey Chestnut ate 72 hot dogs to win the men's title in the annual Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, Tuesday, July 4, 2017. Photo Credit: Jeff Bachner

Joey Chestnut and Miki Sudo are once again the top dogs at the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island.

Chestnut made history on Tuesday by eating a record-setting 72 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes. The No. 1-ranked eater in the world, Chesnut lost his championship Mustard Belt in 2015 to Matt Stonie, but reclaimed it last year, eating 70 franks in 10 minutes. 

Sudo, who was the reigning champion from 2016, held onto her title by downing 41 hot dogs and buns. This is Sudo's fourth straight title at the annual competition, which draws hundreds of spectators each year.

About 1,000 people packed in front of the stage, adorned in hot dog hats and holding signs that said, "Man buns no, hot dog buns yes," and "Grab 'em by the wiener," an apparent reference to an infamous tape of President Donald Trump, before he took office, in which he made a lewd comment about women.

This was Mireia Gonzales's first time attending the annual competition, which she described as "crazy."

"This is my first time; I've never seen anything like this," said the 20-year-old from Barcelona.

Just beyond the stage, thousands of people spilled into the streets of Coney Island, hoping to catch a glimpse of who the real wiener would be. Life sized hot dogs milled around the area while volunteers chucked T-shirts into the cheering crowd. 

Danielle Stogdill, 38, of Sunnyside, was having a blast.

"Coming to this is so much fun, I'm not sure how things will go but what else would be doing today," she said, adding that this was her third year as a spectator. "It's wild out here."

Musicians kept the crowd entertained throughout the afternoon with patriotic tunes ranging from funk-rock blues to hip hop grooves. And every so often, a chant would ripple through the crowd, with sounds of "U-S-A" floating through the air.

Christopher Stogdill, 48, also of Sunnyside, said the contest is a classic Fourth of July tradition.

"We love coming out here to watch. I mean it's classically American, right? I love seeing the crowd get into it," he said.

With Lauren Cook

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