President Donald Trump on Sunday became the first U.S. president to attend a sumo wrestling competition, and he entered the ring to present a specially made “President’s Cup” to the match’s winner.
Trump, with the help of an official, bestowed the massive 60-70 pound silver trophy to wrestler Asanoyama at Tokyo’s Ryōgoku Kokugikan Stadium. The trophy was made for the event and features a bald eagle at the top.
“In honor of your outstanding achievement as sumo grand champion, I hereby award you the United States Presidents Cup,” Trump read from a prepared statement.
The president and first lady, Melania Trump, watched the incredible show of brute strength with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife, Akie.
Abe also presented Asonoyama with the Prime Minister’s Cup, a goblet-style silver trophy of a similar gargantuan size.
Trump, speaking to reporters before the match, said he had always wanted to see sumo wrestling. He called it an “incredible evening,” according to The Associated Press.
On Monday, the two leaders plan to square off in trade talks. Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on Japanese autos and auto parts, prompting what has been seen by some analysts as a four-day strategy by Abe to butter up the president amid such negotiations. Earlier Sunday, Abe and Trump played golf, the president’s preferred sport.
Trump will also meet Japanese Emperor Naruhito, becoming the first head of state to meet the monarch since Naruhito ascended to the throne earlier this month.