NEW YORK (AP) — Defending champion Miki Sudo ate 39 1/2 hot dogs and buns to claim a ninth women's title in Nathan's Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest, before stormy weather moved in and delayed the men's competition.
Sudo beat Mayoi Ebihara's 33 1/2 hot dogs in 10 minutes Tuesday in a contest that appeared to be much closer until the final count was announced. The unofficial real-time counter showed the two women tied throughout much of the competition. A final count of plates settled the score.
Sudo, 37, was disappointed in her winning total, which was nine hot dogs short of her all-time high. She said competition from the 27-year-old Ebihara had thrown her off.
"The first couple minutes, I found myself watching her, which I never want to do. I never want to be distracted by the other competitors," Sudo, of Port Richey, Florida, said after the competition. "Watching her, I fumbled my hands. I got stuck with a big burp early on but was able to correct."
The men's event was delayed by more than an hour due to severe weather in the New York area.
However, that didn't deter Joey Chestnut from defending his crown. He ate 62 hot dogs and buns in ten minutes. That's 13 more than his closest competitor.
Chestnut has now won the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest 17 times in the last 18 years.
The competitive eater said the rain delay threw off his timing because he didn't know whether he should eat or drink anything backstage.
He noted that he was attempting to break his world record of 77 hot dogs, but ended up "playing it safe."
Chestnut promised to be back next year in hopes of breaking that record.
Both he and Sudo took home $10,000 for their victories.
The annual contest on New York City's Coney Island boardwalk drew competitors from England, Canada, South Korea, Japan, Brazil and Australia, according to ESPN.
This story contains elements from Scripps News