Miki Sudo to play star role at Hot Dog Contest without Joey Chestnut

One champ has been banned. The other champ has been hailed.

Miki Sudo, the nine-time champion on the women’s side of the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, will be the featured competitor on the Fourth of July.

Regarding the status of Joey Chestnut, there’s been no relenting from Major League Eating, which runs the contest and barred the 16-time champion after he signed a marketing agreement with Impossible Foods.

But Sudo, 38, remains in good standing – and presumably at the top of her game heading into the contest Thursday on Coney Island in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Sudo holds the record in the women’s competition with 48.5 hot dogs and buns, consumed during the 2020 contest, and has won more titles than any competitor other than Chestnut.

The only time she’s failed to win since 2014 was when she took the year off in 2021 because she was pregnant.

Other top contenders on the women’s side are Mayoi ‘Ebimayo’ Ebihara, who was six hot dogs behind Sudo’s winning total of 39.5 last year, and Michelle Lesco, who won the 2021 contest with 30.75 when Sudo was out.

With Chestnut out, Sudo’s husband, Nick Wehry, could break through as the champ.

Last year he finished fourth with 45 hot dogs. That left him 17 hot dogs shy of Chestnut, but within striking distance of second-place finisher Geoffrey Esper, who ate 49, and third-place finisher James Webb, who ate 47.

Patrick Bertoletti, who ate 49 hot dogs at the 2007 competition, also will contend for the Mustard Belt.

The men’s and women’s competition each will feature 14 eaters.

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