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Sumo is the national wrestling f Japan. There are six major sumo tournaments each year. Sumo has no weight class. The large stomachs f the competitors assure them a low center f gravity. The wrestlers wear only loincloths. As they crouch and prepare for the opening charge, both hands are out in front f them.


But he easily could be an underdog in a sumo match. The heaviest sumo wrestlers weigh 450 to 550 pounds, sometimes more.
Unlike a football player, a sumo wrestler has no helmet, pads or uniform. A belt that barely covers his midsection is all he wears into the ring. The ring itself is a clay base surrounded by a narrow circle f straw. It is only about 15 feet in diameter. The object f a sumo match is to knock an opponent off his feet or out f the ring. A match begins with the two wrestlers crouched much the same way a football lineman sets up for the snap. At the referee's signal, they uncoil and slam into each other.
Bigger wrestlers use their bodies like bulldozers to drive an opponent out f the ring. The smaller ones must rely on quickness and leverage to overcome a larger opponent. A match may last only 20 to 30 seconds. Some last an even shorter time. (Hall 1-7)
Sumo is a distinctly Japanese sport. Its modern history stretches back some 300 years. But for the first time, a foreigner holds the title f grand champion. He is an American from Hawaii named Chad Rowan. He wrestles under the name Akebono, which means "the dawn."
At 6-foot-8 and 466 pounds, Akebono is one f the larger men in sumo. But he is trim compared to the largest wrestler, another Hawaiian named Konishiki. He stands about 6 feet tall and weighs 575 pounds. ...
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