Sumo wrestling may soon be in Olympics

September 1st, 2010 - 4:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Sep 1 (IANS) Sumo, the Japanese heavyweight style of wrestling, may soon find its way to the Olympics after 20 years of its internationalisation.
“Japan has been active in the Olympic Games bidding campaign. Once a Japanese city succeeds in the bid, it will be time for sumo’s entry into the Olympics,” Mai Yaoxiang, vice president of the Asian Sumo Union, was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

Traditionally, non-Japanese rarely took part or had any chance to experience the sport before its internationalization in the 1990s. Japan organised an international sumo competition in 1992, inviting athletes from all over the world to try the sport. It was at that time that Europeans began to know about sumo.

The popularised form of sumo is a simplified version of the traditional Japanese wrestling. In Japan, women are not allowed to play sumo and wrestlers have strict restrictions in dressing.

In the international sumo, these strict disciplines are not necessary any more. Any participant, whether male or female, has a chance to win a sumo world championship.

Mai said sumo’s simplification would get itself closer to the Olympics standard.

“We have organised sumo championships on every continent. Currently, an international sumo system has been founded, establishing a strong foundation for the future development of the sport,” he said.

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