Whew! Like everyone at this time of year, I am a little overwhelmed with how busy life can be! Nevertheless, this is my favorite post to write – Who’s Who in North American Sumo 2019.
In this post, I recap the major competitors at the national-level in North American Sumo. This post focuses on the men, whereas my next post will focus on the women. Also, this post only includes those competing in North America – so no Musashikuni or Wakaichirō. . .although I am hearing that Musashikuni may begin competing in America now that he is retired from Japanese professional sumo. Is there a US Sumo Open medal with his name on it in 2020?
The popularity of sumo in North America continues to grow. The US Sumo Open attracted another giant crowd with even more fan-favorites this year. Spectators enjoyed seeing Byamba, Ramy Elgazar, Hiroki Sumo, Takeshi Amitani, and many other international competitors that tried to grab gold – in addition to the many Americans that tried to stop them! Likewise, the US Sumo Nationals had even more competitors this year with many extremely competitive matches – many of which are shown below. And even events like the Fitcon Sumo Cup and the Georgia Sumo Open are growing larger than many could imagine. It seems that sumo is on the verge of reaching the next-level of popularity in America. Will 2020 be the year it finally does so?
So who was the North American Senshu of the Year for the men? I think the five gold-medal winners at the US Sumo Nationals must be mentioned. These were Cornelius Booker (lightweight), Ed Suczewski (middleweight), Kena Heffernan (Light Heavyweight), Roy Sims (Heavyweight), and Robert Fuimaono (Openweight). While each of these could be argued as the Senshu of the Year, I think it has to go to Ed Suczewski. Despite being undersized for the division, he also got an openweight medal at the US Sumo Nationals, and he was only one of two American men to medal at the US Sumo Open. It was a great year for Ed and a great year for North American sumo!
Also, I should make two final notes. First, I think the most improved of the year has to be Cornelius Booker. He has put in a ton of work into his sumo skills, and it certainly paid off in his first ever gold medal at the US Sumo Nationals. I look forward to seeing how he will follow-up his 2019 performance in 2020. Second, we saw a lot of young and even new faces in sumo this year – some even stepping onto the podium. Let’s see if the talent pool can grow even further in 2020!
As always, please email me at NorthAmericanSumo@Gmail.com if you have any questions or comments!
- US Sumo Nationals Gold Medal in Lightweight Division
- Fitcon Sumo Cup Silver Medal in Lightweight Division
- US Sumo Nationals Silver Medal in Lightweight Division
- US Sumo Nationals Bronze Medal in Lightweight Division
- US Sumo Nationals Gold Medal in Middleweight Division
- US Sumo Nationals Bronze Medal in Openweight Division
- US Sumo Open Silver Medal in Lightweight Division
- US Sumo Nationals Silver Medal in Middleweight Division
- Fitcon Sumo Cup Bronze Medal in Openweight Division
- US Sumo Nationals Gold Medal in Light Heavyweight Division
- US Sumo Nationals Silver Medal in Openweight Division
- US Sumo Nationals Silver Medal in Light Heavyweight Division
- US Sumo Nationals Bronze Medal in Light Heavyweight Division
- US Sumo Nationals Gold Medal in Heavyweight Division
- Wold Sumo Championships Semi-Finalist in Heavyweight Division
- US Sumo Nationals Silver Medal in Heavyweight Division
- US Sumo Nationals Gold Medal in Openweight Division
- US Sumo Nationals Bronze Medal in Heavyweight Division
- US Sumo Open Silver Medal in Heavyweight Division
- Fitcon Sumo Cup Silver Medal in Heavyweight Division
- Fitcon Sumo Cup Gold Medal in Openweight Division