The largest (and heaviest) Sumo tournament outside of Japan, will, for the third time, storm the Walter Pyramid at Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) with roughly eight tons of sumo wrestlers on Saturday, May 21 from 1:00PM to 3:00PM, with preliminary matches from 10:00AM to noon, according to an announcement released Monday.
Brought to Long Beach by USA Sumo, the 16th annual US Sumo Open boasts the only sumo tournament in the states with international participation with athletes from the US, Canada, Venezuela, Brazil, Norway, Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Russia, Ukraine, Egypt, Azerbaijan, Tajikstan, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Mongolia and Japan, according to the release.
Over 5,000 fans are expected to attend to watch former and current National and World Sumo Champions, included in the 60 elite wrestlers to compete, go head-to-head during more than 150 live matches.
For eight consecutive years, four-time World Sumo Champion Byambajav Ulambavar, or “Byamba,” won the US Sumo Open, but went home with the silver in 2015, breaking what would have been a nine-year winning streak in the heavyweight division.
“I'm definitely going to recover my champion title this year,” Ulambavar stated.
Other contenders, who have both won US Sumo Open gold, include 461-pound Ramy Elgazar from Egypt, and the newest American contender, 376-pound Roy Sims from California, who became the first American to earn a gold medal in heavyweight or openweight. They have both beaten Byamba once before, attendees will have to find out if they can do it again.
Paying homage to its Japanese roots, authentic Taiko drumming and a selection of Japanese food from Shin Sen Gumi, Sapporo Beer and Hakutsuru Sake will be sold during the all-day event.