American Pizazz Meets the Staid Traditions of Sumo

 Two huge, shirtless men bow politely and then fight violently, winning in seconds.  

 On Saturday night, the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City hosted this fight.  

 An enthusiastic, nearly full crowd saw sumo wrestling, an ancient Japanese sport rarely seen in the US.  

 Most of the crowd was watching sumo for the first time, and Melinda Wilkerson expected to see “some talented athletes.  

 Brett, her husband, added: “Some big talented athletes.”  

 They did. Twelve wrestlers weighing 210 to 397 pounds competed in World Championship Sumo's US exhibitions.  

 Despite the “world championship” title, the entrants were inferior than Japan's top division champions, who wrestle six times a year.  

 A favorite to win the event was Egyptian wrestler Oosuna Arashi, known as Sandstorm, who competed at the highest level from 2013 to 2017.  

 First a bodybuilder, he started sumo at 14. “I didn’t understand it at the beginning,” Arashi stated.  

 Sumo wrestlers try to throw each other out of the ring or to the ground. The fight ends quickly after grabbing, twisting, and flinging.  

 To attract thrill-seekers and finish the tournament in an evening, the World Championship Sumo version has four rounds  They will be sold to the public on Thursday, April 18.  

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