NEW YORK (AP) — Defending champion Miki Sudo forced down 39 1/2 hot dogs and buns to claim a ninth women’s title in Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest, before stormy weather moved in and delayed the men’s competition.

Sudo beat Mayoi Ebihara’s 33 1/2 hot dogs in 10 minutes Tuesday in a contest that appeared to be much closer until the final count was announced. The unofficial real-time counter showed the two women tied throughout much of the competition. A final count of plates settled the score.

Sudo, 37, was disappointed in her winning total, which was nine hot dogs short of her all-time high. She said competition from the 27-year-old Ebihara had thrown her off.

“The first couple minutes, I found myself watching her, which I never want to do. I never want to be distracted by the other competitors,” Sudo, of Port Richey, Florida, said after the competition. “Watching her, I fumbled my hands. I got stuck with a big burp early on but was able to correct.”

Champion Joey “Jaws” Chestnut is in search of a 16th title in the men’s division.

The annual contest on New York City’s Coney Island boardwalk drew competitors from England, Canada, South Korea, Japan, Brazil and Australia, according to ESPN.

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