Meet Japan’s First African Sumo Wrestler
Meet Abdelrahman Ahmed Shaalan, Japan’s first Egyptian Arab Sumo wrestler, and among one of the first few Muslim competitors to enter the sport. His sumo name, Osunaarashi, means “Great Sandstorm.”
Since he is a Muslim, 20-year-old Shaalan does not eat pork or drink alcohol. As a result, it is harder for him to “stay in shape” as a sumo wrestler.
Things get rougher when Ramadan comes. He trains without food and fluids during the daytime. This has not stopped him from chasing his dream, however.
He even quit his university accounting program just to compete in professional sumo wrestling.
“I am confident that I can overcome my challenges,” Shaalan said after winning his first matches in a tournament held in Osaka.