- A racehorse in Japan has attracted fans online for having a peculiar name tied to a tongue twister.
- Sumomomomomomomomo claimed her first victory on Monday, putting commentators on the spot as she surged to the front of the pack.
- Fans were delighted to hear the casters' hilarious efforts at calling the race.
A racehorse in Japan that earned its first victory on Monday has captured the hearts of fans and celebrities for its name: Sumomomomomomomomo.
Sumomomomomomomomo stayed in the middle of the pack for most of the race, before surging to the front in the final stretch, while commentators hollered the filly's tongue-twister name in excitement.
The three-year-old horse claimed her win at the Tokyo Oi racetrack in the 12th race of her career, AFP reported.
Japanese social media users, delighted by the mare's name, congratulated the racehorse while thanking commentators for their "hard work." One video that received 28,200 likes features the intense effort by NHK announcer Izumi Tanaka calling Sumomomomomomomomo's win.
"The long-awaited victory of Sumomomomomomomomo is amazing, but what's amazing is Tanaka's commentary," wrote one user.
—東京シティ競馬(TCK) (@tck_keiba) November 1, 2021
The commentator behind the English call, who identified himself as Bob Werley on Twitter, pulled off the feat too without missing a beat, though he later admitted he may have gotten the intonation of Sumomomomomomomomo wrong.
—Bob Werley (@bobwerley) November 1, 2021
The horse's jockey, Naoki Machida, said the ardent support from the fans contributed to the victory, Nikkan Sports reported.
Sumomomomomomomomo's win has compounded her fame, but the racehorse already had a following.
The filly, which sported pink blinders on Monday, has inspired plushies sold at the racetrack and sweets dubbed "Sumomochi" — a play on the horse's name and the Japanese snack mochi. Fans outside Tokyo have asked for the goods to be made available online or by mail order.
—ChampionsTCK (@ChampionsTCK) October 26, 2021
The name Sumomomomomomomomo comes from a Japanese tongue twister that reads: "Sumomo mo momo, momo mo momo, sumomo mo momo mo momo no uchi."
Translated, it means: "Plums are peaches, and peaches are peaches, and plums and peaches are both types of peaches."
Horse racing is immensely popular in Japan. The National Association of Racing, one of the two major associations that organize races in Japan, earned $8 billion in 2020, The Japan Times reported. In 2019, CNN reported that the local industry is worth around $25.6 billion.