With little doubt, Joey Chestnut has once again conquered all challengers and won the 2012 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest with a final count of 68 hot dogs. His sixth straight victory in this competition, Chestnut solidified his No. 1 Major League Eating ranking with another awe-inspiring performance on the corner of Surf and Stillwell at Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York.
Tying a record he set in 2009 of 68 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes, Chestnut started to really blow past his competition just after the halfway point in the competition. With no real competitors pushing him towards the record, he struggled in the last minute to get as many dogs down his throat as possible before matching his mark from 2009. With this victory, Chestnut matches the mark set by Takeru Kobayashi of six straight victories from 2001 to 2006.
In a somewhat surprising start to the competition, 19-year-old Matt "Megatoad" Stonie, a native of San Jose, California, matched Chestnut's pace in the first few minutes, beating out the likes of Pat "Deep Dish" Bertoletti and Tim "Eater X" Janus. As the competition continued, Stonie's pace of nine dogs per minute started to decline and Chestnut continued to eat away from the competition. In the end, Janus and Bertoletti, who finished with 52 and 51 hot dogs, respectively, were no match for Chestnut's count of 68.
In the women's competition, Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas of Alexandria, Virginia had no trouble defending her title of 45 hot dogs and buns. Setting the previous record of 41 hot dogs and buns in the inaugural women's version of the competition last year, Thomas reached the exact target goal she set for herself prior to the start the contest. Juliet Lee of Germantown, Maryland earned second place with 33 hot dogs.
After another dominant performance by Chestnut, it still feels as though there are no major competitors who will challenge him for his Mustard Belt anytime soon. While Stonie does give the sport another young eater who could potentially vie for Chestnut's title one day, Chestnut once again proved his dominance by conquering this Fourth of July tradition.
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