Joey Chestnut is again the favorite to win Tuesday’s Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest as he looks to capture the title for the 16th time.
Chestnut’s championship run was nearly ruined last year when an animal rights protester tried to disrupt the process. But it was Chestnut, who with an injured leg, choked the protester to the ground before he finished his 63 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes.
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Before the July 4 festivities began, Major League Eating president Rich Shea told ESPN that Chestnut «claims it was short on five hot dogs because of that outage.»
Chestnut holds the world record for the most hot dogs eaten in 10 minutes with a staggering 76. He set the record at the Coney Island, New York event in 2021.
He told TMZ Sports that he was «feeling good» ahead of this year’s event.
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«I’m healthier than last year,» he said. «My leg feels good. I’m happy. So, it’s going to be a good 4th of July.»
It is not clear if a new protest would come. Direct Action Everywhere, which took responsibility for last year’s disruption, told ESPN they could not confirm if another protest would take place.
“I can’t confirm if a protest is planned, but I would love to see animals’ prospects continue to be raised at this event that grossly objectifies their bodies,” said Cassie King, spokeswoman for Direct Action Everywhere.
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Security is reportedly expected to increase for this year’s event. The women’s portion begins at 10:45 am ET and the men’s portion begins at noon.