The annual US Sumo Open returned to CSULB’s Walter Pyramid for its 16th year running this past Saturday afternoon. This spectacle featured dozens of professional sumo wrestlers from around the world competing for the prized trophy and bragging rights. This tournament featured men’s and women’s lightweight, middleweight, and heavyweight competitors, all of which contained wrestlers from multiple different countries. Across all the competitors, Mongolia and Russia appeared to have the most competitors. The day started with individual divisions, and the day ended with the Open Weight tournament, where all competitors of a gender competed. This meant that someone weighing 160 lbs may have ended up facing someone weighing over 500 lbs. Surprisingly for the women, the heavyweights could not outperform the lighter competitors – not surprising, as the women competitors appeared more brutal and vicious than the men. When the men competed, the heavyweights made it to the finals, as the spectators expected. Throughout the day between sets, attendees got treated to a musical performance featuring dance and drums. During an intermission, Japan’s heaviest man, whom the announcer nicknamed “Yama,” delighted the crowd with his girth and entertained the crowd by “wrestling” willing children. He basically teased the children for a bit before he allowed them to push him out of the ring.
The US Sumo Open makes for an interesting event to attend and bring friends & family to. Southern California does not get sumo wrestling events like this often, so when one does come around, many people flock to it. The US Sumo Open returns every year around this time, so bookmark your calendar for next year’s 17th Annual US Sumo Open. In the meantime, check out USA Sumo on Facebook for future updates and related events, such as the Sumo Sushi Show, which occurs next month among three consecutive Saturdays in Southern California.