The World Sumo Championships 2019 occurred last weekend. Although the event had some logistical issues due to a typhoon, it was still very exciting to watch. Many of our North American competitors did very well, but none were more exciting to watch than Roy Sims and Mariah Holmes. Roy made it to the final bracket of the heavyweight division, whereas Mariah made it to the final bracket of the openweight division – an amazing accomplishment for both competitors.
Below, I provide gifs of each competitor’s finals bracket appearance. Unfortunately, their earlier matches were not streamed online, so I could not watch their entire performances. They obviously won their initial matches, and I hope to eventually obtain some type of recap for these matches.
As always, please contact me at NorthAmericanSumo@Gmail.com if you have any questions or comments!
Roy Sims – World Sumo Championships 2019
Roy’s first finals bracket match was against Igarashi Atsushi. Igarashi is an extremely accomplished amateur sumo wrestler in Japan. He is among the best of the best, and his Twitter can be found here. In this match, Roy gave him a really tough battle.
At it looked like that Roy won! . . .But it went to a mono-ii, and the judges determined that Igarashi won instead. Roy was really disappointed in this decision. I thought, for sure, that it would at least go to a rematch – not an outright loss for Roy. Igarashi would go on to win the heavyweight division. Just think, Roy was only an inch away from beating the eventual winner. What bad luck!
Roy would then go against the massive Russian competitor, Ruslan Bagaev. I actually had to cut a lot from this match to make the gif. It went on what seemed like forever, and Roy had a really good chance early on to win. Unfortunately, the Russian was too massive to budge, and the match continued.
In the end, there wasn’t much that Roy could do. He gave it his all, but the Russian was just too big. This loss would knock Roy off the podium. The Russian would finish in third. Roy should still be proud of his performance, though! He did an amazing job and showed that USA has some fight in the heavyweight division!
Mariah Holmes – World Sumo Championships 2019
Like Roy, Mariah’s first finals bracket match was against the Japanese competitor, who was Kon Hiyori in the women’s openweight division. Hiyori has found popularity from the short documentary called “Little Miss Sumo”, which follows her sumo journey as a woman in Japan. And Hiyori has found a lot of success in sumo, as she won the All Japan tournament. So, in other words, Mariah was also competing against the best of the best in this match.
Not shown in the gif below, I thought Mariah got an amazing start and won her match easily; however, it was actually a false start, and the match had to be repeated. As her first start was extreme aggressive, Mariah did not have as vigorous of a tachiai in the restart.
Hiyori seemed to expect this strategy, and she won with solid sumo and a great center of gravity. This would give Mariah her first loss. Hiyori would go on to surprisingly finish in second place, behind Svitlana Yaromka.
In her second finals bracket match, Mariah went up against the competitor from Mongolia, Zoljargal Dagvadorj. Dagvadorj has competed in sumo for awhile. She won openweight gold in the US Sumo Open 2017, so she has quite a lot of talent and skill. Mariah was aware of this talent and skill in her long, grueling match against the Mongolian.
I thought Mariah had a great chance to win as the match continued further, but the Mongolian’s strong base was too much for the American competitor. It seemed like she wanted the hip toss at the end, but she was unable to lift Dagvadorj off the ground. This took Mariah off the podium, and Dagvadorj ended up finishing in third place.
What a great event! The Americans should be proud of themselves. While we didn’t return with any medals, two of our competitors came within split-seconds of bringing home some hardware. Likewise, we had other competitors who did quite well, and I hope to make a future post about these other competitors at the World Sumo Championships 2019. I have footage of some matches, but not near all of them. So, I may need to wait until I get a recap from the competitors themselves.
Likewise, I hope to make a post soon about the Georgia Sumo Open 2019. I heard it was an amazing event, and I have some great footage of it, too. Amateur sumo is alive, well, and growing in the United States. It is exciting to think about how we will do in the World Sumo Championships 2020! And beyond!