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Sumo in decline

Transcript:

It might look comic but becoming a top sumo wrestler is not for the faint-hearted.

The sport, which is over 1,000 years old, requires extreme commitment: with gruelling training and an enormous diet.

But sumo is in decline.

Revenues are falling, audiences are dwindling and the sport, which was once an icon of Japanese pride, is now dominated by foreign wrestlers.

Vocabulary:

comic - funny faint-hearted - not brave or confident gruelling - extremely tiring; physically exhausting dwindling - becoming smaller in size or number dominated - controlled

Exercise:

Use one of the words or phrases below to complete each of these sentences from news reports. Note that you may have to change the form of a word to complete the sentence correctly.

comic / faint-hearted / gruelling / dwindling / dominated

1. Two Bristol students who tackled a __________ transatlantic rowing race have retired from the competition after more than three months at sea.

2. With the UK's gas and electricity market __________ by the "big six", the claim often made is that the industry is somehow rigged in favour of these companies.

3. India is home to around 25,000 elephants. Their numbers are __________ due to poaching and the destruction of their habitats by humans.

4. It is not surprising that we had to go to Britain's biggest aircraft hangar to see the world's longest aircraft. For the best view, we had to climb the world's scariest staircase too (safe of course, but not one for the ________).

5. John Uhler Lemmon III - known to the world as Jack Lemmon - was one of Hollywood's best-loved actors and a man who distinguished himself in both serious and __________ roles.

Answers:

1. Two Bristol students who tackled a gruelling transatlantic rowing race have retired from the competition after more than three months at sea.

Source: Bristol rowers adrift in ocean end 96-day Atlantic race

2. With the UK's gas and electricity market dominated by the "big six", the claim often made is that the industry is somehow rigged in favour of these companies.

Source: Energy market: No quick fix to hugely complex issue

3. India is home to around 25,000 elephants. Their numbers are dwindling due to poaching and the destruction of their habitats by humans.

Source: Elephants killed by speeding train in India

4. It is not surprising that we had to go to Britain's biggest aircraft hangar to see the world's longest aircraft. For the best view, we had to climb the world's scariest staircase too (safe of course, but not one for the faint-hearted).

Source: World's longest aircraft is unveiled in UK

5. John Uhler Lemmon III - known to the world as Jack Lemmon - was one of Hollywood's best-loved actors and a man who distinguished himself in both serious and comic roles.

Source: Jack Lemmon's complex talent