Virus doesn’t stop annual hot dog eating contest

Sports

Joey Chestnut and Miki Sudo repeated as men’s and women’s champions at Saturday’s Nathan’s Famous July Fourth hot dog eating contest.

A tray of hot dogs sit on a table waiting to be devoured before the 2019 Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest on Coney Island on July 4, 2019 in New York. (Photo by Don Emmert / AFP) (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP via Getty Images)

NEW YORK – The coronavirus put a damper on this year’s Fourth of July celebrations in New York, but some things stayed the same. Joey Chestnut and Miki Sudo repeated as men’s and women’s champions at Saturday’s Nathan’s Famous July Fourth hot dog eating contest.

Chestnut downed 75 wieners and buns in 10 minutes and Sudo downed 48 1/2 in a competition that took place at an undisclosed location with no in-person spectators. Both hot dog totals were world records. “I’m always pushing for a record,” Chestnut said before the contest aired on a live sports-starved ESPN. “I know that’s what the fans want.”

New Yorkers were urged to avoid large holiday gatherings in order to prevent a surge in coronavirus cases like other states are seeing.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said there were more than 720 new confirmed coronavirus cases reported Friday statewide, and 11 deaths were attributed to the virus.

New York City’s July 4 festivities will be capped by a televised fireworks display over the Empire State Building. Fireworks sponsor Macy’s said the show, to be broadcast on NBC, would feature “a spectacular display choreographed to an epic musical score.”

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