At Event Weigh-In, Chestnut Says He Wants To Down 70 Dogs

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Bloomberg presided over the weigh-in for the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest Wednesday at City Hall Park — by delivering a pun-filled sentence.

“Let’s be frank,” the Mayor said. “Tomorrow, on a dog day afternoon, in a tradition New Yorkers relish…”

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You get the idea.

But the real story of the afternoon was six-time champion Joey Chestnut, who’s heading to the annual Coney Island event with the goal of eating his way to another record-setting victory on Thursday.

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As WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported, Chestnut set the current world record by eating 68 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes last year.

(credit: Rich Lamb/WCBS 880)

(credit: Rich Lamb/WCBS 880)

This year, the 29-year-old Californian said he’s going for 70.

“I’m confident in my ability,” the champion competitive eater said. “I know if I do well, I should be able to blow away the competition. It’s just a matter of not getting complacent.”

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He weighed in at 210 pounds.

Chestnut shared some of his techniques with 1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks.

“I don’t take huge bites. If I take huge bites, it’s harder to digest, harder to stack in my stomach,” Chestnut said. “I want to chew ’em up just enough to swallow and make digestion possible.”

And he always separates the hot dogs from the buns.

“Eat two dogs, then two buns. I wet the buns in warm water. Warm water will help me swallow them quickly, help the muscles in my stomach stretch,” he said. “The warm water is kind of important. It helps digestion.”

Chestnut said he sees himself competing for a couple more years.

“As long as my doctor tells me I’m doing it without hurting my body,” he said. “I’ve been very lucky so far, I feel like I’ve been able to push myself and become more in touch with body…how to push myself without hurting myself or negatively hurting myself. I feel good.”

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