USA at the World Sumo Championships, Well Done!
As coach of the U.S. Team this year, I was very proud of our 11 competitors and referee. The USA fought extremely hard in a sport where, again in 2014, countries with solid sumo programs, such as Mongolia, Japan, Ukraine and Russia, dominated the competition. Collecting wins were Ian Runyan, Colton Runyan, Kena Heffernan, Jay Holder, Andre Coleman, and Sarena Gneiting (by fusenshō). The two highlights of the event were Sarena Gneiting medaling in the Junior Women's competition, placing 3rd, and our U.S. Team consisting of Kena, Colton, Jay, and Andrew (substitute) competing for a bronze medal in the Team competition, after advancing three rounds, beating Australia and Poland. Unfortunately they lost to Mongolia, but it's the furthest the USA has advanced in many years.
Additionally, Kena Heffernan was voted in as a Vice-president of the International Sumo Federation, and held the sole, and maybe somewhat awkward, position of being an athlete and an administrator at the WSC. After our team lost to Mongolia, Kena quickly changed into his suit and tie to be one of the honored delegates that awarded medalists at the podium. Kena went above and beyond the call of duty to represent us well in all aspects, and is to be commended.
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2014 AAU Midwest Freestyle Judo Championships & Midwest Sumo Open
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