SAN FRANCISCO — An ancient sport will come to Japantown as sumo champions give an exhibition on Saturday, Sept. 8, at Peace Plaza, Post and Buchanan streets in San Francisco.


There will be a meet-and-greet with kids from 10 to 10:45 a.m., live matches from 12 to 3:30 p.m., and another meet-and-greet at 4:30 p.m.

Featured wrestlers are:

• Byamba (Byambajav Ulambayar), 6’1”, 370 lbs. Mongolian, three-time world sumo champion and entertainer whose credits include “Ocean’s 13” and “America’s Got Talent”;

• Siosifa “Big Joe” I’sama’u, 6’1”, 350 lbs. Tongan, multiple medalist at many U.S. Sumo Opens and other tournaments;

• Kelly Gneiting, 6’0”, 430 lbs. Four-time U.S. sumo champion and Guinness world record holder as the heaviest human ever to run a marathon (Los Angeles Marathon, 2008 and 2011).

The event is free and open to the public. Sponsors include Japan Center Malls, California Sumo Association, Japantown Merchants Association, Center for Asian American Media, and SF Weekly.

For more information on Japantown, visit


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