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Ex-sumo champ wants to become bridge between Mongolia, Japan

Wrestler-turned-entrepreneur seeks stronger ties to counterbalance Russia, China

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Dagvadorj during his days as sumo grand champion Asashoryu in 2008.   © Reuters

ULAANBAATAR -- A former sumo grand champion from Mongolia hopes to parlay his fame in Japan into closer relations between the two countries, a goal dovetailing with the new president's aim of diversifying a landlocked economy reliant on far larger neighbors.

Dagvadorj Dolgorsuren, now 36, ascended to the sport's top rank of yokozuna in Japan and made his mark in the record books under the name Asashoryu. He supported new President Battulga Khaltmaa -- a fellow wrestling champion in his native Mongolia -- during the election, and his name has cropped up as a possible adviser.

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