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Chestnut downs 69 hot dogs, takes seventh straight title

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(CNN) — Two competitive eating champions defended their title Thursday at New York’s annual Independence Day hot dog eating competition.

Joey Chestnut of San Jose, California, snagged his seventh straight victory, and Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas of Alexandria, Virginia, defended her women’s division title at the 98th annual hot dog chow down sponsored by Nathan’s Famous.

Chestnut downed 69 hot dogs in 10 minutes, compared to the 68 dogs and buns in ten minutes last year, and set a record for the number of hot dogs he put away at the Brooklyn event.

Thomas ate 36.75 hot dogs in 10 minutes. Last year, she put away 45 dogs and buns but this year had hoped to eat 50 dogs.

The annual international hot dog eating contest has been held on July 4th in Coney Island since 1916, according to the company’s archives. Major League Eating, the governing body of all stomach-centric sport, sanctions the competition.

The competition officially signals that the home of the famous boardwalk and the “Cyclone” roller coaster in Brooklyn is back on its feet nearly nine months after Superstorm Sandy devastated many of its businesses.