Longtime champ dethroned at New York hot dog eating contest

Matt Stonie jams down his hot dogs.
Matt Stonie jams down his hot dogs.REUTERS
 Mike Stonie defeats Joey Chestnut after eating 62 hot dogs in 10 minutes.
Mike Stonie defeats Joey Chestnut after eating 62 hot dogs in 10 minutes.AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - Joey "Jaws" Chestnut, who for eight straight years gobbled up all comers in the famed Nathan's hot dog eating contest in New York, finally met his match on Saturday.

Chestnut, 31, was defeated by Matt Stonie, 23, his longtime rival in the niche competitive eating circuit.

Stonie devoured 62 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes, two more than Chestnut at the hugely popular July 4 contest, held each year on the boardwalk of Brooklyn's Coney Island and broadcast live on television.

It was ketchup-flavoured revenge for Stonie, who was runner-up to Chestnut in last year's showdown.

The women's contest was won by veteran competitive eater Miki Sudo, who wolfed down 38 hot dogs.

That was seven more than second-placed finisher Sonya Thomas, a former champ with multiple eating records under her belt.

Saturday's event was beamed live to a national audience by ESPN television, and also drew thousands of spectators.

The uniquely American tradition dates back 99 years.

Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs - one of America's best-known purveyors of wieners - says it has held its Independence Day contest since 1916, when the winner consumed a relatively measly 13 hot dogs.

To get the hot dogs down, each contestant has his or her own peculiar trick, but one standard technique includes eating the bread separately after first soaking it in water, then stuffing the meat down one's throat.

Some competitors also wriggle their bodies to help get the food down faster.

Anyone who regurgitates is disqualified.