Sport

Sumo's next superstars? Why Mongolia is a wrestling powerhouse

Published 0203 GMT (1003 HKT) December 28, 2016
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Sumo wrestlers stretch during a training camp on the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, in July. Photographer Taylor Weidman shadowed young wrestlers before the World Sumo Championships, where they hoped to make a name for themselves and find a future with a sumo stable. Taylor Weidman
Wrestlers hang out in their dorm after a practice session in Mongolia. Japan has traditionally dominated the sport, and it's only in the past decade that Mongolia has emerged as such a dominant force. The past four "yokozuna," sumo wrestling's highest rank, have all been from Mongolia. Taylor Weidman
A wrestler cools down a teammate during training. Taylor Weidman
Wrestlers practice in their bare feet. Taylor Weidman
Size is important in sumo wrestling, but agility, speed and technique are all important as well. Taylor Weidman
A wrestler returns to his dorm after a practice session. Taylor Weidman
A wrestler tapes his hands as he prepares for practice. Taylor Weidman
Wrestlers eat lunch together at the training camp. "Wrestlers would eat big meals with lots of mutton and rice," Weidman said. "Traditionally, I think sumo wrestlers are supposed to have two huge meals a day, followed by naps so the calories aren't burned off right away." Taylor Weidman
Wrestlers take a team picture at the end of a practice session. Taylor Weidman
Sumo fans arrive at the World Sumo Championships in Ulaanbaatar. Taylor Weidman
Wrestlers compete during the World Sumo Championships. Taylor Weidman