Sunday, July 05, 2015

Chestnut dethroned by Stonie

Joey Chestnut entered the 2015 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island on an eight-year winning streak, but Matt “Megatoad” Stonie downed 62 hot dogs in 10 minutes to win on the Fourth of July.

Stonie, a YouTube phenomenon who is the second-ranked competitive eater in the world, finished second to Chestnut last year. A standard Nathan’s hot dog has 280 calories and 18 grams of fat, meaning Stonie inhaled a total of 17,360 calories and 1,116 grams of fat — and that’s not including the hot dog buns.

"I trained hard for this. This is actually amazing," Stonie told ESPN, which broadcast the competition live like the major sporting event its biggest fans say it has become.

Afterward, Stonie, holding his fist in the air in victory, said he came into the competition confident and prepared in his quest for the $10,000 prize and the coveted mustard yellow winner's championship belt.

"We don't just go up there and eat hot dogs. We practice for this. We prepare our bodies," Stonie said. "It was a tough contest. Joey brings it all. I had to push really hard to beat him. But I feel great."

Stonie had defeated Chestnut in the past year in competitions featuring Twinkies, poutine, pumpkin pie and gyros.

Chestnut, smiling in defeat, said he was slow and couldn't catch Stonie.

"I've been looking for competition for a long time and I finally have it," he said, vowing to return next year. "He made me hungry."

Chestnut, 31, had built himself into a champ with his string of victories, which included setting the record in 2013 by swallowing 69 franks. He twice reached 68 but last year had fallen off to 61.

After his victory last year, he dropped to one knee and proposed to his longtime girlfriend. They have since broken up.

Early in the contest, Chestnut seemed to have a slight edge but Stonie moved ahead by half a hot dog after 3 minutes and never looked back.

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