NEW YORK CITY — California native Joey Chestnut is being called “the greatest eater in the history of mankind,” after he set a record at the Fourth of July  hot dog eating contest at Nathan’s Famous in Coney Island Monday.

Chestnut, 32,  downed 70 hot dogs in ten minutes.

That’s a record, and 17 more than Matt “The Megatoad” Stonie, who beat Chestnut last year in an upset.

“Last year was rough,” Chestnut said. “This year was the best ever.”

The men’s competition was briefly interrupted by a protest.

Animal rights protesters ran on stage and threw fake blood at some of the competitors. They were escorted away by police, according to witnesses who tweeted about the short disruption.

Defending champion Miki Sudo won the women’s division, gobbling 38 1/2 hot dogs and buns in ten minutes to claim the championship title for the third straight year.

Sudo and Chestnut each walked away with a $10,000 prize.

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