Training for the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest yet? If you're a woman, you could just be that much closer to

the

a crown! Because according to George Shea, chairman of Major League Eating, stuffing your face with hot dogs is basically like tennis. “Leading sports organizations including the NCAA, USTA and professional golf have long had separate championships for men and women,” he said in a statement. “Sonya Thomas has been called the Michelle Wie of Brie and the Mia Hamm of Ham, but she’s never been called Nathan’s Famous July Fourth Champion. Perhaps this is the year she secures that title."

The women-only contest will occur prior to the men's contest on July 4th at Coney Island, and the winner will take home a $5,000 cash prize along with the championship belt. And Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas is definitely expected to be the front runner. She is ranked number four in the world by Major League Eating, and has a personal best of eating 41 hot dogs and buns in ten minutes. Last year champion Joey Chestnut ate 54 hot dogs and buns in ten minutes, though that didn't match his record of 68 hot dogs and buns.

Last year Thomas and tenth-ranked Juliet Lee were the only female competitors, but Major League Eating says rookie Larell Marie Mele, who ate 15 hot dogs at the Nathan's Hot Dog qualifier last year, and once ate ten doughnuts in two minutes. Wayne Norbitz, president and COO of Nathan’s Famous, Inc. said, "Each year we see more and more women entering our qualifying events in the hopes of making it to Coney Island. We surely have had some impressive female eaters compete on July 4th, so we’re introducing this new round to give female competitors the notoriety they deserve." Besides, is there anything sexier than a woman who can eat 8.31 pounds of Vienna sausage in ten minutes?