Chestnut wins sixth straight title, downs 68 hot dogs
NEW YORK — Joey Chestnut won his sixth straight Fourth of July hot dog-eating contest at Coney Island, downing 68 dogs and buns on Wednesday to tie his personal best in a sweaty, gag-inducing spectacle.
Last year, the 28-year-old San Jose, Calif., man nicknamed “Jaws” won with 62 hot dogs. He bested his main rival this year by 16 dogs, scarfing down all 68 in 10 minutes in the sweltering summer heat to take home $10,000 and the mustard yellow belt.
“I feel good, it was a great win,” Chestnut said after the contest, adding he wished he could have eaten a record number of hot dogs for the audience. “I tried my best. I’m looking forward to next year already.”
Second place went to Tim Janus of New York with 52 hot dogs, who received $5,000. Third place went to Patrick Bertoletti of Chicago with 51, who won $2,500.
Chestnut was neck-and-neck with competitors during the first half of the contest, but he pulled ahead in the remaining minutes, choking down dog after dog, while other competitors slowed as the clock wound down.
“I’m happy to come out with the win,” he said.
Sonya Thomas, of Alexandria, Va., downed 45 hot dogs to win the women’s competition. She reached her goal of eating 45 in the time limit — her age — and took home her own pink champion’s belt and $10,000.
Thomas, known as the “Black Widow” of competitive eating, won last year as well, the first time a separate contest was held for women. Juliet Lee, of Germantown, Md., took second place with 33 and won $5,000. Lee also won second place last year. Third place went to Michelle Lesco, of Tuscon, Ariz., who received $2,500 for downing 25.
Double amputee Pistorius set to run at Olympics
JOHANNESBURG — Never count out Oscar Pistorius.
The Blade Runner will be competing in the London Olympics after all, in his favorite event, the 400 meters.
While his selection for the 4x400 relay team was expected, it was a surprise last-minute turnaround by South African sports officials Wednesday that gave Pistorius the chance to run in the 400.
With the decision, the 25-year-old will become the first amputee track athlete to compete at any games.
“Today is truly one of the proudest days of my life,” said Pistorius, a double amputee who spent his entire track career trying to prove he’s good enough to compete with the best. He now has the chance to do just that.
South Africa’s Olympic committee and national track federation suddenly decided to clear Pistorius for the 400 at the London Games on his carbon fiber blades despite him just missing out on the country’s strict qualifying criteria.
They added his name as the last on their team of 125 track and field athletes.
And now, the big Olympic stage being readied for Jamaican sprint sensation Usain Bolt and American swimmer Michael Phelps just got a little more crowded.
Not bad for a kid who had both his legs amputated below the knee at 11 months old and originally didn’t like track and field when he took it up as a teenager to rehabilitate from a rugby injury.
“To have been selected to represent Team South Africa at the London 2012 Olympic Games in the individual 400m and the 4x400m relay is a real honor and I am so pleased that years of hard work, determination and sacrifice have all come together,” said Pistorius.
Wild hit pay dirt; sign free agents Parise, Suter
Call it a Wild day for Minnesota, a team that landed not one but both of the NHL’s top players available in free agency: Forward Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter.
“WE GOT ‘EM!” the Wild announced on their Twitter account early Wednesday afternoon. Both players were regarded the cream of what was a thin free agent crop, and each had spent the past four days poring over numerous offers from several teams before making a decision.
Parise leaves the New Jersey Devils, while Suter leaves the Nashville Predators in joining forces to take their talents far from South Beach, but instead to the Land of 1,000 Lakes.
Each player agreed to a 13-year contract, the team said Wednesday. Terms of the deals were not immediately announced, but each contact was expected to be in the $100 million range.
Parise was the best forward on the market. He scored 31 goals and 69 points last season in his first year as the Devils’ captain. He also chipped in with 15 points in helping the team’s surprise run to the Stanley Cup finals, which ended in a six-game series loss to Los Angeles.
Drafted 17th overall by New Jersey in 2003, the 27-year-old is from Minnesota and has 194 goals and 216 assists in 503 career games. He scored 30-plus goals five times.
Suter, also 27, was the top defenseman available this summer. He spent all seven of his season in the NHL with the Predators after being selected with the seventh pick in the 2005 draft. The All-Star defenseman had career highs in points last year, with 7 goals and 39 assists.
White Sox put RHP Crain on 15-day disabled list
CHICAGO — The Chicago White Sox placed right-hander reliever Jesse Crain on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a right shoulder strain, retroactive to June 24.
The White Sox recalled right-hander Deunte Heath from Triple-A Charlotte to replace Crain, who is 2-1 with a 2.38 ERA in 24 games this season. Crain was also on the disabled list April 27 to May 14 with a strained oblique.
Heath was 4-2 with a 1.70 ERA and one save in 22 relief appearances with Charlotte. Signed by the White Sox as a free agent on April 22, 2010, he also started two games and will be a possible option to start Sunday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays as the White Sox give Chris Sale an extended break.
From wire sources