TOKYO: With legs resembling tree trunks and packing the body weight of two average-sized men, sumo wrestling’s ‘Great Sandstorm’ would seem a good fit for the wildly popular Japanese sport.
But Egypt’s Abdelrahman Ahmed Shaalan, the first professional sumo wrestler from both the African continent and the Arab world, faces some mighty challenges as he embarks on a quest to become a yokozuna, or grand champion.
“I want to become a wrestler who represents Arab and African nations,” said Shaalan. “My dream is to become a yokozuna,” said the Egyptian. However, he does not touch the deep-fried pork cutlets or drink vast quantities of beer and the rice wine, sake, staples of a diet that sumo wrestlers rely on to bulk up.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 10th, 2012.
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