Sumo fans will be aware by now that Hakuho won his 10th Emeperor’s Cup this weekend, beating Ama after a long-drawn-out winner-take-all contest. Both wrestlers finished the basho with 13-2 records, and thus Ama is pretty much guaranteed to be promoted to the rank of ozeki later this week.
Ama’s performance — beating all the ozeki, and the yokozuna in their first match, and his fearless battle in the play-off bout — was generally welcomed by the crowd. It is true that he is not Japanese (being yet another Mongolian), but his ability to overcome by sheer technique his weight and size limitations in a sport where size and weight often carry the day is recognized as remarkable. And he always smiles at the end of a bout, win or lose.
It is a pleasant feeling when the good guy does well.