The US Sumo Nationals 2020 was quite the event! Most all the heavy hitters from around the nation attended, and there was drama in the storylines of each division. My favorite may have been the middleweight division, which had a trio of battles between the middleweight favorite, Edward Suczewski, and the most dangerous man in sumo, Cornelius Booker. . .But, that division will be covered in another post. Today, I am focusing on the lightweight division – specifically Justin Kizzart.
As readers can tell from the title of the post, Justin Kizzart finished first in the lightweight division, and he thereby will be representing Team USA at the Sumo World Championships 2020 in Poland (assuming that they still occur despite COVID-19). He had a great showing, and he made a lot of really great competitors look really poorly. It was clear that Justin had been training hard for Nationals, and he was ready to execute his gameplan.
Speaking of training, Justin recently emailed me that he created a new website for his sumo gym, Dark Circle Sumo, in Austin, Texas. It can be found here: www.DarkCircleSumo.com . Also, I must say that his training must be effective, as he had two sumo newcomers from his gym win medals at Nationals – and both of them were gold medals!
Below, I provide gifs of Justin’s matches at the US Sumo Nationals 2020, followed by a quick commentary about his bouts. Two things I must acknowledge, though. First, I do not know the names of the other competitors. I didn’t recognize most of them, and their names were not clearly announced over the audio. So, I don’t want to guess and get anyone’s name incorrect. Second, I don’t know who finished in second or third. Once the United States Sumo Federation releases this information, I will be sure to post it ASAP.
As always, please contact me at NorthAmericanSumo@Gmail.com if you have any questions or comments. Be sure to check out our prior interview with Justin Kizzart by clicking here, too!
Justin Kizzart – Match 1
This competitor seemed to have taken Justin by surprise, and it almost led to his early defeat. The sign of a true competitor is their ability to keep their composure, though, and Justin clearly showed that he is a true competitor here. He was able to get the last-second toss for the victory.
[Edit – According to Joshua Clements in the comments below, the competitor in this match is Dillion, but no other information is presently know.]
Justin Kizzart – Match 2
Is it a henka? It is a pulldown? Either way, it is a victory!
[Edit – According to Joshua Clements in the comments below, the competitor in this match is Joshua Crook of California.]
Justin Kizzart – Match 3
Justin went with a more straightforward strategy of his first match. I think every lightweight knows that Justin has a strong tachiai, so everyone was expecting to get blasted at the start. But, Justin had more in his pockets and pulled out some tricks.
[Edit – According to Joshua Clements in the comments below, he is the competitor in this match. Joshua represents Georgia sumo.]
Justin Kizzart – Match 4
Phew, that was close! I’m not quite sure what Justin was going for to start, but he finished with the last-second toss again. Another great showing, and it gave Justin the gold medal.
[Edit – According to Joshua Clements in the comments below, the competitor in this match is again Joshua Crook of California.]
What great matches! I think Justin had the smartest gameplan of all the lightweights. He varied up his approaches, and he didn’t go for straightforward victories via strength alone. Some of the other competitors seemed to have tired out after a match or two, but Justin was fresh until the end. He will need that at the World Sumo Championships – which we will be watching online and cheering from afar!