Meet Kyuta Kumagai, a 187-pound sumo wrestler and the world champion in the under-10 category.Talent from a young age: When Kumagai was still in kindergarten, his father Taisuke — who is a former amateur sumo wrestler — noticed his son's potential and entered him in a tournament.
"There is a talent for sumo and he has that talent," Kumagai's father told Reuters. "He won the tournament. I thought he may have something special.”
After Kumagai won the tournament, his father moved their family to Tokyo's Fukagawa area, known for producing sumo wrestlers.
The area is also home to the Nominosukune Shrine, where it is believed that the God of Sumo lives. Because of this, the Kumagais have received plenty of local support.
Although he is still an elementary school student, Kumagai has already wrestled opponents five to six years older than him, according to Reuters.
Kumagai's training and diet: Kumagai trains for six days every week. His training includes lifting weights, swimming, and track and field.
In addition to his extensive training, Kumagai eats between 2,700 to 4,000 calories every day, Gulf News reports.
To be taken in by a prestigious sumo stable, Kumagai needs to gain 44 extra pounds before he starts middle school at the age of 12.
A tough regimen: Kumagai mentioned to Reuters that sumo training isn't something he would describe with the word "enjoy."
Kumagai's father is also aware of how difficult sumo training can be, especially for his son, who has cried several times after being pushed too hard by his father.
However, Kumagai's father believes that an intense regimen will help his son reach his full potential: “I think he is managing to make time for himself and I think he has time to play with his friends. I don’t think it is too much pressure.”
In addition to his father, Kumagai has also received support from his coach Shinichi Taira, a former professional wrestler.
"At the moment, he has great talent," Taira said.
Kumagai's future: The young sumo wrestler hopes to reach the highest ranking in sumo, known as "yokozuna."
Although Kumagai considered quitting a few times, he does not let his intense training stop him from giving up his dreams.
“When it became tough… I have thought about [quitting] sometimes,” Kumagai admitted to Reuters.
When asked about why he enjoys sumo wrestling, Kumagai simply says, "It is fun to beat people older than me."
Feature Image via Reuters
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