18th Annual US Sumo Open Returns to Walter Pyramid Bringing Over 60 Top Wrestlers to Long Beach

Japan’s national sport for over 1,500 years will come thundering into town Saturday, May 12 as the world’s sumo wrestlers compete during the 18th annual US Sumo Open at Cal State Long Beach’s (CSULB) Walter Pyramid, CSULB and sponsor NHK WORLD-JAPAN announced.

To be hosted by NHK WORLD-JAPAN newsman and sumo expert, Hiro Morita, this year’s event will feature 60 international men and women sumo champions, collectively boasting seven World Sumo Champion titles, over 30 total medals at the World Championships and 8 tons of power, according to the release. Athletes from Japan, Mongolia, India, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Russia, Bulgaria, Poland, Germany, the UK and the US will land in Long Beach to storm the ring.

Attendees can also expect authentic Taiko drumming, fresh Japanese food, Sapporo Beer and Hakutsuru Sake on sale all day. Morita will be present at the NHK booth on the mezzanine to greet attendees an answer questions about sumo.

Preliminary matches will kick off at 10:00AM, with the main event to take place from 1:00PM to 4:00PM. The following headliners will compete throughout the tournament:

Mongolia, 6 feet,1 inch, 370 pounds, 4-time World Sumo Champion
In 11 years at the US Sumo Open, Byamba has won heavyweight gold (10x) & open weight gold (7x), with a cumulative record of 104 wins and only 5 losses!! He’s always the odds-on favorite.

Japan, 5 feet, 7 inches, 245 pounds, 5-time Japanese University Champion
Last year, Takeshi stunned the crowd by winning the Openweight gold medal, defeating several larger opponents in the process. A crowd-favorite, Goliath-killer.

Russia, 5 feet,10inches, 187 pounds, 2-time World Sumo Champion
At a past US Sumo Open, Batyr was undefeated lightweight champ. Not only is he the current lightweight World Champion, but he’s also the #2 open weight in the World (amazing for his size)!

USA, 6 feet,6 inches, 380 pounds, 4-time US Sumo Champion
Roy is the ONLY American ever to win a heavyweight or open weight US Sumo Open gold medal (in 17 years)! He was #3 at the latest Sumo World Championships, too!

USA, 5 feet, 8 inches, 187 pounds, 12-time US Sumo Champion
The 2017 US Sumo Open, undefeated lightweight champ, Trent is also currently the #2 lightweight in the World (after Batyr).

Egypt, 6 feet, 3 inches, 480 pounds, former US Sumo Open Champion
Winner of many international championships, the heaviest competitor, Ramy, has won US Sumo Open medals at all 4 that he’s competed in.

For those who miss the open, NHK will present a live television championship sumo match, GRAND SUMO LIVE, as one of the first broadcasts of sumo from Japan in the US. Los Angeles-area audiences can check it out on digital terrestrial channel 28.3, a sub-channel of KCET and on AT&T U-verse channel 1221, Time Warner Spectrum channel 1277, Charter Spectrum channel 194, Xfinity channel 372 and Cox channel 813, at 1:10AM-2:00AM PDT.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the website here.

The Walter Pyramid at CSULB is located at 1250 Bellflower Boulevard.

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Asia Morris has been with the Long Beach Post for five years, specializing in coverage of the arts. Her parents gave her the name because they wanted her to be a world traveler and they got their wish. She has obliged by pursuing art, journalism and a second career as a competitive cyclist.