Sumo on the Steppes

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In the land of Ghenghis Khan, wrestling is a national sport and a 2,000-year-old tradition. ‘Bokh’, as it is known locally, features annually at tournaments across Mongolia. The biggest such event is the Nadaam Festival, which sees 40,000 wrestlers compete in provinces across Mongolia. The largest of the tournaments is held in the capital Ulaanbaatar, where 500 wrestlers battle it out to be crowned champion. There are no weight or height divisions in these competitions and fighters must outmaneuvre their opponent with an array of different moves. And with no time limits, the bouts can last for as long as four hours, demanding great levels of endurance. Now, Mongolia’s wrestlers are using their warrior spirit and fighting skills to conquer Japan’s oldest sport – sumo wrestling.

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