Jul 3, 2015 11:16 PM

Eager eaters weigh-in ahead of NYC July 4 hot dog contest

The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) Contestants have hit the scales ahead of the annual July Fourth hot dog eating contest at Coney Island's Nathan's Famous.

Reigning champion Joey Chestnut joined past winners at the weigh-in Friday ahead of the 99-year-old Independence Day boardwalk tradition.

The dogs will be served Saturday morning.

Chestnut tipped the scales at a hearty 230 pounds while Michelle Lesco ranked the lightest competitor at 112 pounds.

New Zealand native Nela Zisser, at 114 pounds, says she can out-eat her male counterparts. She previously won a pizza eating contest.

The event also featured a ceremonial stare down between the competitors.

Repeat runner-up Tim Janus says he got into competitive eating to face off at Nathan's. He conceded Chestnut, who outweighs him by 65 pounds, would be tough to beat but vowed to do his best.

Chestnut broke a world record in 2013 when he scoffed down 69 soggy dogs in 10 minutes. As an eight-year champion, he holds the Mustard Yellow International Belt after eating 61 hot dogs at last year's contest. This year, he'll face off against former champ Takeru Kobayashi.

More than 30,000 people are expected to pack Coney Island for the annual feeding frenzy.

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