Friday, November 16, 2018 | ePaper

Venezuela's sumo novices gird loins against economic crisis

  • Print




Their physique may be a far cry from the celebrated bulk of Japan's mammoth fighters, but athletes like Walter Rivas are beginning to make a name for themselves -- and the noble sport of sumo wrestling -- in Venezuela.
Popularizing the traditional Japanese combat sport in crisis-wracked Venezuela, of all places, is an uphill battle.
Here, a wrestler's most fearsome opponent is not the one staring them down from across the dohyo, or ring, but the country's overwhelming economic crisis.
Despite the struggle, Duglexer Gonzalez says with a sense of pride: "Sumo in Venezuela? Yes. Here in Venezuela, can you believe, we have sumo."
Known by his sumo moniker of "King Musampa," he was one of the first practitioners of the discipline in the Caribbean country and now heads the fledgling national federation.
"We're fighting against taboos and high costs," he said.
The pioneering "rikishi" or fighter, is one of the reasons why sumo is slowly winning recognition in baseball-mad Venezuela, though still far behind popular sports like football, basketball and boxing.
"We are not simply fat!" says Musampa, emphatically.
However, their chosen path to sporting immortality is fraught with problems in a country where basic foods are scarce and hyperinflation means prices can rise daily.
Walter Rivas laments the fact that like most Venezuelans, he faces a relentless struggle to keep his weight up.

More News For this Category

Youngmen's Club, the champions of the Walton 5th Men's Beach Football Tournament with the guests and officials of Cox's Bazar District Sports Association pose for a photo session at the Suganda Point in Cax's Bazar Sea Beach on Thursday.

Youngmen's Club, the champions of the Walton 5th Men's Beach Football Tournament with the guests and officials of Cox's Bazar District Sports Association pose for a photo session at the Suganda Point in Cax's Bazar Sea Beach on Thursday.

.

New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox (20) drives to the basket around Oklahoma City Thunder guard Terrance Ferguson (23) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Wednesday.

New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox (20) drives to the basket around Oklahoma City Thunder guard Terrance Ferguson (23) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Wednesday.

.

Djokovic overcomes illness to progress at ATP Finals

Djokovic overcomes illness to progress at ATP Finals

AP, London :Novak Djokovic overcame an illness - and Alexander Zverev - to advance to the last four of the ATP Finals.Using a tissue to blow his nose between

Ganguly suggests defensive combination for Australia Tests

Ganguly suggests defensive combination for Australia Tests

Agency :Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly suggests a different combination that comes under defensive mode for the forthcoming Test series against Australia in Australia.India are all set to tour

Man City defender Mendy sidelined after knee surgery

Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy is set for a spell on the sidelines after                      undergoing surgery to repair cartilage in his left knee. The 24-year-old, a World Cup winner

Mohammad Mithun (left) of Bangladesh plays a shot while wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva of Zimbabwe looks on during the fourth day play of the second Test between Bangladesh and Zimbabwe at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the city's Mirpur on Wednesday.

Mohammad Mithun (left) of Bangladesh plays a shot while wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva of Zimbabwe looks on during the fourth day play of the second Test between Bangladesh and Zimbabwe at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the city's Mirpur on Wednesday.

.

Rooney excited to see what  `fearless` England are capable of

Rooney excited to see what `fearless` England are capable of

AFP, Burton-On-Trent :Wayne Rooney will make his final farewell as England's greatest ever goalscorer in a friendly against the United States on Thursday, but is excited at what a

AFC warns Iran over government interference in football

AFP, Kuala Lumpur :The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has warned Iran they could face sanctions ahead of January's Asian Cup over government interference in their national football association.It follows

Resurgent Kuchar still on 'a big high' after mad dash Down Under

AFP, Sydney :Matt Kuchar said he was still on a high after his first PGA Tour win in four years and expected to be in the hunt again after

Calgary 2026 Olympic bid in peril after public say 'No'

AFP, Ottawa :Calgary's bid to stage the 2026 Winter Olympics suffered a crushing blow on Tuesday as residents of the Canadian city voted overwhelmingly against hosting the games, early