Chicago Native Triumphs in Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, Miki Sudo Sets New World Record

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The air was laden with anticipation and the sizzling aroma of hot dogs as a Chicago native, Patrick Bertoletti, devoured his way to victory at the annual Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest in New York. In a stunning turn of events, Bertoletti, consumed 58 hot dogs to clinch his first-ever men’s title, seizing the opportunity left open by the event’s biggest star’s absence.

Fierce competition was not only witnessed in the men’s contest. The women’s arena also showcased an impressive display of gustatory prowess as defending champion Miki Sudo clinched her 10th title, setting a new world record by downing 51 hot dogs.

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The world of competitive eating was stirred by the conspicuous absence of Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, who, due to a sponsorship disagreement, didn’t grace the event this year. Known as the reigning men’s champion who enjoyed a glorious winning streak at 16 out of the 17 previous competitions, Chestnut chose instead to participate in a contest held at a U.S. Army base in El Paso, Texas. He reaffirmed his culinary might by wolfing down 57 hot dogs in a mere five minutes.

Meanwhile, at Coney Island, 39-year-old Bertoletti staged a gripping, ten-minute race. He beat 13 competitors from around the globe in a nail-biting competition where the lead see-sawed back and forth. Bertoletti revealed that an intensive three-month training period of rigorous weight loss and practice fueled his bid for the title.

In the midst of the jubilant celebration, Bertoletti’s triumphant words echoed through the crowd, “With Joey not here, I knew I had a shot. I was able to unlock something that I don’t know where it came from.” His impressive feats outdid his previous record of 55 hot dogs and marked the first departure from Chestnut’s grip on the coveted mustard belt since 2015.

In the women’s category, Florida’s Miki Sudo outperformed 13 competitors, including her rival Mayoi Ebihara of Japan, who managed to eat 37 hot dogs. In doing so, Sudo also eclipsed her partner, the former Florida bodybuilder Nicholas Wehry, who consumed 46 hot dogs in the men’s competition.

Drawn by the eccentric allure of competitive eating, thousands of fans filled Coney Island, some even donning foam hot dog hats, eager to experience the highly anticipated event, despite Chestnut’s notable absence. The event saw competitors hailing from numerous states and five different continents, all vying for the prestigious title and the $10,000 prize money.

Chestnut, who opted to spend the holiday with the troops, vowed not to return to the Coney Island event without an apology. Despite his apprehensions about performing in the absence of the passionate Coney Island crowd, he upheld a “record-setting pace.”

Joey ‘Jaws’ Chestnut will face his professional rival Takeru Kobayashi next, in a highly anticipated Netflix special scheduled for September 2nd.