Japanese TV is beautiful in its simplicity. It’s like a good piece of sushi. All you need is a couple of amazing elements, blended with care and executed with precision. In this case the sushi is some big beautiful boys being put through their paces in a variety of athletic competitions. Watching sumo wrestlers run, swim, and throw is a singular joy.
The YouTube video is titled “The physical ability measurement of the sumo wrestler,” and it’s unclear if this is the name of a show or segment, but we really hope this is a weekly staple. These aren’t just run-of-the-mill sumos either, they’re some champions.
First event: 50 meter sprint.
This was a hard-fought race. That is a lie. Only two sumos even came close. The poor red sumo barely runs at all. He kind of speed waddles. He’s still beautiful, they’re all beautiful.
The winner finished the 50-meter dash in 7.60 seconds. To compare, Usain Bolt’s world record for the 100 meters is 9.58 seconds and is twice the distance. Perhaps more apt, the 100-meter record for an 85-year-old is 15.92, barely slower than the sumos over the same distance.
Second event: 50-meter freestyle.
The swim isn’t what’s important here. I mean, it is, but look at this entry. Just four beautiful boys bombing into the water and never looking back.
In terms of the swim itself, well, it didn’t go so well. The winner turned in a pretty dang impressive time, but the other three did not -- at all.
A 97-year-old man set the U.S. record for the 50-meter freestyle in the 95-99 age bracket with 51.31 in 1999. He would have finished second in this race.
Third event: Hammer throw.
Now this is an event the sumos should dominate, right? After all, strength is kind of their thing. The issue wasn’t being strong, it was the coordination required to spin in a circle before releasing the hammer.
Only one of the sumos managed to come close to the 40-meter mark. He finished with 37.50. The world record for an 80-year-old man is 49.53 meters.
What did we learn?
The sumos, while incredibly skilled at their discipline, are pretty terrible at everything else. Just watch the whole thing.