In the past decade, Mongolian Sumo wrestlers have dominated the upper echelons of the professional circuit in Japan. However, the 21st World Sumo Championships held last weekend was the first major international competition Mongolia has hosted for the sport. The amateur tournament was put on by the International Sumo Federation, which is recognized by the International Olympic Committee, and took place on July 30. Women and men competed in separate events with four weight classes: lightweight, middleweight, heavyweight, and open (no weight restrictions).
The competition came hot off the heels of the massive Asia-Europe Summit, during which President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj declared his country’s goal of hosting the 2050 Olympic games. At the World Sumo Championships, Mongolia continued to show the world it can put on a great show.