Historic Victory: USA Women’s Sumo Team Secures First Medals at 2023 World Championships.

Triumph in Tokyo as Team USA’s Sumo Wrestlers Make History.

In a monumental achievement, the USA women’s Sumo team etched their names in the annals of history at the 2023 World Sumo Championships held in Tokyo, Japan. With unwavering determination and impressive skills, they clinched their first-ever medals at this prestigious event, marking a significant milestone for women in the sport of Sumo.

Comprising the talented athletes Helen Delpopolo, Erika Erlandson, Mariah Holmes, and Sarah Hildebrandt, the USA women’s Sumo team faced off against competitors from 32 other nations in both individual and team categories. Their journey to glory began to unfold on the second day of the competition.

On this pivotal day, Helen Delpopolo secured a bronze medal in the lightweight division, displaying exceptional skill and determination as she triumphed over Mongolia’s Oyungerel Sambuu in a tightly contested match. Simultaneously, Erika Erlandson delivered a commanding performance in the heavyweight division, earning herself a bronze medal by overpowering Russia’s Anastasia Petrova with her superior strength and technique.

The team’s success story continued on the competition’s third and final day, as they clinched the silver medal in the team event, surpassing Brazil and trailing closely behind the hosts, Japan. Displaying exemplary teamwork and unwavering spirit, they secured victories in four out of their six matches against formidable opponents from Japan, Brazil, Russia, and Mongolia. Mariah Holmes and Sarah Hildebrandt played pivotal roles in contributing crucial points to the team’s triumph.

Coach Roy Sims commended his athletes for their historic achievement, highlighting their relentless dedication in preparation for the tournament. He emphasized the many challenges and obstacles they had surmounted along the way, expressing pride in their representation of the nation with distinction and grace. Sims noted that their journey had inspired countless young girls and women to chase their dreams in the world of Sumo.

Team captain Helen Delpopolo shared her pride in making history alongside her teammates, showcasing that women can excel in a sport traditionally dominated by men. She underscored their message that Sumo is a sport that transcends cultural boundaries, bringing together people from diverse backgrounds.

These remarkable medals are the first for the USA women’s Sumo team since its establishment in 2015. The team operates under the umbrella of the United States Sumo Federation, the governing body for amateur Sumo in the United States. The federation’s mission is to promote and foster Sumo as both a sport and a cultural activity within the country.

The 2023 World Sumo Championships held in Tachikawa, Tokyo, from October 7 to October 9, witnessed the emergence of USA women’s Sumo onto the global stage, forever changing the narrative of the sport. With determination, skill, and resilience, these athletes have opened doors for a new era of Sumo, where gender knows no boundaries. Their historic victory serves as an inspiration to future generations of Sumo enthusiasts and underscores the universal appeal of this ancient sport.






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