Meet the female Richie Benaud of the sumo wrestling world


Being a sports commentator is a bit of a sausage fest, but Aussie Katrina Watts is breaking through the glass ceiling in the world of sumo wrestling.

She’s considered one of Australia’s biggest fans of sumo wrestling and for the past few decades has been a stalwart of the local sumo wrestling circuit.

Northern NSW resident, Katrina Watts, has been following the sport of sumo for “more than 30 years” and is one of the few female faces in the bizz.

“People are a little bit surprised to find that the sumo expert is a woman,” she smiles.

Sumo women

“Because professional sumo in Japan is a man’s world. I’m a sumo commentator and once called the Richie Benaud of sumo commentary.”

After following the sport closely in Japan, Watts returned to Australia with a desire to boost the sport locally and she now heads up the Australian Sumo Federation.

A big part of her mission has been bucking the gender stereotypes surrounding sumo wrestling.

Sumo commentary

“People generally don’t expect there to be either amateur sumo or women doing sumo,” she says.

“If you know a sporty girl and I say ‘oh would you like to try sumo?’ Their reaction is ‘oh sumo? No no, I’m not fat… sumo, it’s not very ladylike’.

“In sumo we look for fit, not fat.”


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