The Congress of the European Sumo Federation has elected Georgia to host next year’s European Sumo Championship. The Congress of the European Sumo Federations concluded the decision after Georgia’s votes reached 17, outnumbering Hungary’s single vote. The championship will be accessible to the age categories of Under-21 and Under-23.
The nation’s familiarity with the foreign sport introduced by Levan Tsaguria explains Georgia’s victory in these elections. His substantial success led him to become the first European recognized by prestigious Japanese sumo clubs. Therefore, he earned the stage name Kokkai Futoshi which he used when competing against leading sumoists. Tsaguria far-reaching success caught the attention of Georgia’s former president, Mikheil Saakashvili, who presented him with the “Order of Radiance and Shine” award. Additionally, Saakashvili identified Georgian sumoists as “a personification of all the best and strength that exists in Georgian people.”
As a result, Tsaguria’s success has inspired many other Georgians to succeed in this foreign sport. Some of the Georgian sumo champions include Levan Ebanoidze and Amiran Tsikoridze.
In the international and European competitions, Georgian wrestlers have honored the Georgian Sumo Federation with a total of 27 medals.
According to Tengiz Rukhadze, president of the Georgian Sumo Federation, “We are among leaders of Europe.” Moreover, he added, “the internation arena respects the Georgian Sumo Federation. That is why the federation elected me as the vice-president of the European Sumo Federation.”
When asked about the reasons behind Georgia not holding tournaments, Rukhadze responded, “All issues are associated with finances.”
In his conclusion, he explained that the federation will invest great efforts and hopes in the upcoming Tbilisi tournament with special guests invited to attend.
Hopefully, Tbilisi will live up to its expectations and provide a memorable tournament at the European Sumo Championship in 2017.