Former Wakanohana's retirement ceremony
Former yokozuna Wakanohana who retired earlier this year held his retirement ceremony at the Kokugikan Sept 23. For his final ring entrance ceremony, Wakanohana was accompanied by Akebono as his swordbearer and his brother Takanohana as dewsweeper. The trio made their sumo debut at the same time in 1988. Then it was the hair cutting event. Wakanohana's sponsors, friends in the entertainment world, and sumo members came on one by one to snip a string of his top knot. When Takanohana came on and laid his hands on his retiring brother's shoulders, Wakanohana was about to break down in tears. Then he was followed by the former great yokozuna Wakanohana the first who is actually his uncle. The ceremony was wrapped up by his father, currently stable master Futagoyama and former ozeki Takanohana. Wakanohana's mother looked on with tears. Wakanohana who is now Fujishima is to coach young wrestlers and at the same time be active on TV and commercials.
EMPEROR'S CUP WINNER: MUSASHIMARU
Outstanding Performance Award: none
Outstanding Technique Award: Tochinohana, Hayateumi
Fighting Spirit Award: Wakanosato
Takanonami did not fight well. He kept on trying to push Wakanoyama towards him which was totally uneffective. Takanonami finished the tourney 9 - 6. But he is expected to promoted to sekiwake from komusubi. It was the last chance for Musoyama's comeback to ozeki. He was determined to win, since he moved quickly, taking Kotonowaka's front part of the belt, driving him out. Musoyama can now happily join Musashimaru to his trip back home to Hawaii. Kaio showed a tricky start against Miyabiyama. Then he got hold of Miyabiyama's belt with his right hand and gave an overarm throw. Kaio earned his 11th win. After the bout, Kaio said that his right hand is very painful. Chiyotaikai had a quick victory against fellow ozeki Dejima. They both finished 10 - 5. In the final bout, the 2 Hawiian born yokozuna met. Akebono took off by slapping Musashimaru's left cheek and immediately go hold of his belt and took him out. Musashimaru failed to finish with a perfect standing.
Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori was sitting in one of the regular seats watching sumo. The Kokugikan was packed. Musoyama failed to win. He lost to Wakanosato's over arm throw. Miyabiyama saved himself from falling from ozeki ranking by taking out Kyokutenho. Dejima came forward, and Takanonami got his arms around him and in the end pushed the current ozeki down. Takananami is 9 - 5 while Dejima down to 10 - 4. Akebono took a conservative bout. Chiyotaikai could not play any tricks and lost. In the final bout, Musashimaru faced Kaio. If the yokozuna wins, his Emperor's Cup victory will be secured. Kaio tried to move this way and that way, but that did not prove effective. Musashimaru pushed out the new ozeki for his 8th tourney win.
Sumo star Mitoizumi announced his retirement in tears. He's lost to makushita rikishi 2 days in a row himself ranked in the juryo division. Mitoizumi was the eldest sekitori at 38. He has ended his 22.5-year career. He will assume the name of Nishikido as a coach. Terao who is also fighting in juryo will be the eldest at 37. Now in the highest division, Takanonami attempted a throw at Kotonowaka. The 2 big wrestlers fell together, but with Takanonami on top. So the former ozeki won his 8th bout. Musoyama got hold of Takanowaka's belt with his left and drove him out. Musoyama needs just one more win to return to ozeki. Tochinohana succeeded to defeat Miyabiyama. The ozeki dropped on his back. Kaio was powerful. He used his injured right hand to throw Wakanoyama and earn his 10th victory. Chiyotaikai attacked Musashimaru continuously, but then suddenly he lost balance and was on his right knee. So the yokozuna luckily collected another win. But a different fate was awaiting Akebono. He clashed against Dejima. Dejima then moved to the left and pushed the Hawaiian born down. Akebono is down to 2 losses. Musashimaru now has a great advantage over Akebono to clinch the Emperor's Cup.
Musoyama shoved Tochinohana's head down to secure a majority win. He needs 2 more wins to regain ozeki status. Dejima put his arm around big Kotonowaka's chest and pushed. Chiyotaikai pushed out Tohki also to gain his 9th win. Miyabiyama pushed out Takanowaka. He need one more win to keep his ozeki ranking. Kaio tried to put Akebono off balance and then got hold of the yokozuna. He pushed and pushed Akebono at the edge of the ring. But Akebono put up with it, and turned the bout around by taking Kaio out. Kaio's hope for the Emperor Cup appears shattered. Takanonami tried to swing Musashimaru, but the yokozuna was the one to throw him down for his 12th win.
In the juryo division, Mitoizumi succumbed to his 11th loss. He reiterated that he will fight until the end of the tourney. Hayateumi was aggressive against Takanonami. He got the former ozeki's belt, turned together once with him, and took him out. Musoyama charged forward and pushed Tosanoumi out so hard, he went flying out the ring. Chiyotaikai thrust down Tochinohana for his 8th win. Akinoshima was skillful. He got Miyabiyama's belt and slowly, meticulously took the ozeki out. Miyabiyama is down to 5 losses. Kaio and Dejima clashed into eachother. Then Kaio shifted to the side and seeing Dejima lose balance, drove him out. Kaio despite clinching his 9th bout gave a look of pain. He poured water on his right hand. Musashimaru took Kotonowaka out from the back. Akebono walked Tohki out. So Musashimaru is still on top with Akebono as the runner up.
Mitoizumi lost again. He said that he would like to win one more bout and expects to make a decision about his future on the final day. In the highest division, Oginishiki at last won a bout after a rematch. Takanonami forced out Kotoryu for his 7th win. Musoyama beat Akinoshima with a push out to mark his 6th win. Miyabiyama charged forward and Chiyotaikai shifted to the side and thrust him down. The crowd was rather disappointed at Chiyotaikai's tricky action. It appeared that Kaio got a good hold of Tochinonada's belt. But the new ozeki lost to an arm throw. Dejima kept his posture low and went forward to win his 8th bout. Akebono easily pushed out Hayateumi to collect his 9th win. Musashimaru drove out Takatoriki, keeping his record clean. By the way, the Japan Sumo Association today announced that dramatist Makiko Uchidate will join the Yokozuna Deliberation Council. She will be the first ever women to become its member.
In the juryo division 38-year old Mitoizumi, yes, the saltshaker marked his 8th loss. If he losses further, he will drop to makushita division. Mitoizumi said after the bout that he plans to fight until the final day of this tourney. Former ozeki Takanonami got his right hand over Chiyotenzan and a grip of his belt. He carried Chiyotenzan out the ring for his 6th win. Miyabiyama drove Tohki out. Hayateumi was able to get a good grip of Dejima's grip and took the ozeki out. Chiyotaikai gave thrusts and Kaio acted back. In the end, Kaio threw Chiyotaikai down. Kaio marked a majority win. Musashimaru at point was about to lose his balance, but he managed to drop Tochinonada right by his leg. Akebono walked Musoyama out the ring for his 8th win. So Musashimaru is still the sole leader.
Sad news came in. Former sekiwake Kotonishiki, announced his retirement. The 2-time Emperor Cup winner has been fighting in the juryo division lately, and said that he has lost the commitment to go on fighting. Now the results in the higher makuuchi ranking. Former ozeki faced eachother. Takanonami was the won to defeat Musoyama in the end by shoving him on the floor. Musoyama is down to 3 losses. Kaio was awesome. He was constantly watching Tosanoumi's move carefully. The new ozeki pushed Tosa than pushed him down. Dejima defeated Tochinonada. Chiyotakai took out Takatoriki. Akebono got hold of Miyabiyama's belt and walked him out. Musoyama drove out Hayateumi too keep the tourney lead.
Dejima had a smooth win over Akinoshima. But ozeki Chiyotaikai and Miyabiyama both lost. Chiyotaikai gave thrusts at Tochinonada. However, Tochinonada's thrust was more effective. Miyabiyama pulled back, and Tosanoumi took advantage of it to push him down. Musoyama came forward, but Kaio got his one hand shoving at the sekiwake's throat to take him out. Musashimaru got up to fight, but with his back not straight up, Chiyotenzan got under too far down that he was pushed down by the yokozuna. Musashimaru kept his perfect record. Akebono got hold of Kotoryu's belt and easily took him out for his 6th win.
Tochiazuma pulled out from this day and Hayateumi earned a win without fighting. The highlight of the day was the bout between top contestant Chiyotaikai and Musoyama who's been demoted to sekiwake. Musoyama came forward, Chiyotaikai backed off and tried to push down the sekiwake's head to put him on the floor. But the judges ruled that both were down and out at the same time. Another bout was held. Chiyotaikai gave thrusts, but they were not strong enough. Musoyama in the end thrust the ozeki down. Both are not with 5 wins and a loss. Miyabiyama took out Chiyotenzan. Kaio was fast in taking Kyokutenho out. Dejima drove out Tosanoumi. Akebono gave a couple of effective thrusts to take Takanonami out. Musashimaru fell on his knees as he got Kotoryu out the ring and became the sole rikishi with a perfect record,
Musoyama managed to win his 4th bout by defeating Kyokutenho fast. Takanonami had his arm over Miyabiyama and shoved, but Miyabiyama stopped him and instead, pushed the former ozeki out. Kaio won fast and strong against Kotoryu. Dejima threw down Tochiazuma for his 4th win too. Chiyotaikai gave thrusts and stepped back to pull Tosanoumi down. Musashimaru drove out Oginishiki. Akebono shoved Chiyotenzan out the ring. The same 2 still have perfect records.
Tochiazuma walked out Tochinonada, but he did not look elated with the victory. In fact, he was in pain from an injured right shoulder. A number of rikishi who were with a clean record so far faced defeat. They include Kyokushuzan, Musoyama. And new ozeki Kaio was pushed down by former ozeki Takanonami. Dejima too lost. Chiyotenzan got hold of the ozeki's belt and took him out. But Chiyotaikai charged and managed to defeat Kyokutenho. Miyabiyama collected his 3rd win by thrusting out Kotoryu. Akebono easily drove out Tosanoumi. Musashimaru defeated Akinoshima for his 4th win. So already, contestants with perfect records have diminished to 2. They are Musashimaru and Chiyotaikai.
Akebono defeated Tochiazuma pushing out from the rear. Tochiazuma is alreadb with 2 losses. On top of that, he's hurt his shoulder. All yokozuna and ozeki won today.
Tochiazuma was crushed out by Takanonami. Meanwhile, Musoyama thrust down Tohki. Musoyama clinched 2 wins in a row. And all yokozuna and ozeki won today.
Musoyama pushed out Tochinonada. Tochiazuma has a chance to win ozeki ranking for the next tourney depending on the result this time. He pushed out Kyokutenho. Kaio also pushed out Chiyotenzan. Miyabiyama if marks a majority loss this time he will fall from ozeki ranking. He was forced out by Hayateumi. Even a biggerupset was Akebono's defeat by Akinoshima with a headlock throw. Otherwise, Dejima, Chiyotaikai and Musoyama all won.
Pre Tourney highlights
Takanohana pulls out
Yokozuna Takanohana submitted to the Japan Sumo Association a document indicating his withdrawal from this tourney. It's the 8th time for him to pull out. It's because he has yet to recover from his arm injury sustained during the Nagoya tourney.
An empty practice
Takanohana and Akebono did not show up at all, and neither did Musoyama on Aug. 24 in the yokozuna soken which is a practice involving all top rankers. Akebono, last tourney winner, was out due to a cold.
The only top ranker from Hokkaido has announced his retirement. His demotion to makushita ranking was clear after his poor performance in the previous tourney as juryo rikishi
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