The California Sumo Association held their 13th US Sumo Open event Sunday at the JACCC Noguchi Plaza in downtown Los Angeles. With a sold out crowd in attendance for the event, this year was the largest turnout ever within the history for the organization.
The sumo rules are simple, wrestlers must compete in a 15' diameter ring and to win, your opponent must be pushed down or thrown out of the ring. With over 80 techniques to defeat your opponent, it is illegal to punch, kick or pull hair. Legal methods of grappling are slapping, leg sweeping and pulling of the belt. Over 50 elite professional sumo wrestlers international and domestic took the ring this year. Lightweight, middleweight and heavyweight male and female contenders faced off to win the bronze and gold medals for his/her division.
There were many exciting moments of the evening but the slamming of 420 pound Kelly Gneiting (USA) by Byambajav Ulambayar stole the evening. US Open favorites returning this year was Byambajav Ulambayar of Mongolia, Siosifa Isamau of Tonga, Ramy And El Aty Ibrahim Belal of Egypt and Soslan Gagloev of Russia. All competitors brought different skill sets to the event including kickboxing, Chinese boxing, Mongolian wrestling, Judo, Sambo and many others. The winners for this year's heavy weight male title was Byambajav Ulambayar, winning the gold title for the 7th year in a row. Amanda Soule of Idaho took the gold medal for the women's title for the second year in a row.