(November 10 to 24 at Fukuoka Kokusai Center)

Post Tourney News
Sumo to tour South Korea
It was learned on Dec 10 that a sumo tour will be held in South Korea in June 2003. This was announced by the Japan Sumo Association. It will be the association's 11th overseas tour.

Outstanding Performance Award:
Outstanding Technique Award: None
Fighting Spirit Award: Takanonami, Takanowaka, Iwakiyama

Final day
Iwakiyama celebrated his first makuuchi tourney by winning 10 bouts. He defeated Aminishiki to mark a 2 digit win. Dejima pushed out Kyokushuzan for this 10th win too. Kyokushuzan on the other hand marked a majority loss. Miyabiyama was able to clinch his 8th win by thrusting down Hokutoriki. Takanonami with his arms around Tokitsunada took him out. It's his 10th win. He's been presented fighting spirit award, which is rare for a former ozeki. In fact it's the first time in 25 years that a former ozeki is given one of the 3 awards. Tohki attacked Takanowaka, but Takanowaka fought back with firm thrusts to win his 11th bout. Tochiazuma and Kotomitsuki wrestled a long bout. In the end Kotomitsuki took the ozeki out to clinch his majority win. And the final bout of this tourney and this year. Asashoryu tried to throw Musoyama, and finding that it was not effective, pushed him out. The Mongolian ozeki celebrated his first Emperor's Cup with 14 wins.

14th day
Akinoshima took out Tamarikido to improve his record to 9 wins. Tamarikido faced a majority loss. Dejima was taken out by Shimotori. Miyabiyama pushed and pulled back and then pushed again to drive out Kotoryu. Miyabiyama has an even record. Takanonami forced Aminishiki out and fell at the same time to win. It's the former ozeki's 9th win. Asashoryu who clinched the Emperor's Cup already threw down Tochiazuma for his 13th win. Musoyama pushed out Wakanosato easily for his 10th win.

13th day
Akinoshima was put down by Tohki facing his 5th loss. Miyabiyama lost to Tokitsuumi's overarm throw succumbing to his 7th loss. 2 former ozeki clashed. Dejima shoved forward and before Takanonami could fight back, his right foot was out of the ring. It's Dejima's 9th win. Takamisakari recorded a majority loss in the bout against Takanowaka. In the ozeki against ozeki bout, Musoyama showed great skills, pushing Tochiazuma a bit then shoving him down. Musoyama won his 10th bout. Asashoryu needed only one more win to clinch the Emperor's Cup. He was challenged by Wakanosato. It was not an easy bout. Wakanosato resisted the Mongolian's throws. But in the end, Wakanosato fell to Asashoryu's leg hooked over his. Asashoryu won this grand sumo tourney. He's the first Mongolian to achieve the feat.

12th day
Dejima was driven down by new makuuchi rikishi Iwakiyama. Iwakiyama clinched a majority win. Akinoshima lost too. It rolled on the ring after succumbing to Kotonowaka's throw. Takanonami lost toe a push out by Tohki. As a result all who were tied for 2nd place until the previous day their faced their 4th loss. Musoyama was able to earn his 8th win throwing Tochinonada. Asashoryu gave a powerful throw to defeat Kotomitsuki and keep his overwhelming lead in this tourney. Tochiazuma with his 8th win was able to prevent himself from falling from ozeki ranking.

11th day
Dejima clinched a majority win by taking out Akinoshima and so did another former ozeki Takanonami. Takanonami threw Takamisakari who expressed pain in his right leg as he tried to stand up. Miyabiyama attacked Takanowaka and put him down. It's Miyabiyama's 5th win. Kotomitsuki pulled back which prompted Wakanosato to go forward, driving Kotomitsuki out. Asashoryu gave thrusts but Tochinonada overwhelmed with stronger shoves to taint the Mongolian with a one loss record. Tochiazuma shifted to the side, putting Gojoro off balance. There were moans and sighs to the skill Tochiazuma used. Musoyama pushed but he lost control when Kyokushuzan slightly moved aside at the edge of the ring. Musoyama had his right hand spread out as he walked away from the ring. He may have injured it quite badly. As of the end of the day, Asashoryu still leads. The runners up are Takanonami, Dejima and Akinoshima with 3 losses.

10th day
Dejima gave thrusts and pushed foward to win his 7th bout against Tohki. Miyabiyama drove out Tamakasuga for his 4th win. Tamakasuga faced his 9th loss. Takanowaka moved quickly to take out Takanonami. Both are 7 to 3. Kotomitsuki was quick too to take out Kyokutenho. Both are with 5-5. Tochiazuma drove down Takamisakari. The ozeki earned his 6th win. Gojoro tried to trick Musoyama when they faced off by shifting to the side. Gojoro gave thrusts, but the ozeki fought back. In the end, Musoyama drove Gojoro out to gain his 7th win. Asashoryu pushed down Shimotori, but his hand appeared to have touched the dirt while Shimotori was about to drop. The bout was redone. The 2nd time, Asashoryu proved his power, throwing down Shimotori. The Mongolian leads while the runnerup is Akinoshima with 2 losses.

9th day
It was announced that Chiyotaikai decided to pull out of the tourney. He is reported to have hurt his right arm the previous day, and will need 2 and a half months of treatment. In the bouts, Dejima pushed out Kotoryu. Kyokushuzan tried to swing Miyabiyama with his left a couple of times, and finally in the 55th second, he swung the former ozeki down. It's only the Mongolian's 3rd win. 2 from the same Nihon University faced eachother. Kotomitsuki pulled back and held down Takamisakari's topknot at the same time. But it did not affect Takamisakari. The new star took out Kotomitsuki. Former ozeki Takanonami got hold of Musoyama's arm and swung him out. Takanonami clinched his 7th win while Musoyama succumbed to his 3rd loss. Asashoryu had a quick win, driving Gojoro down on his butt. He is unbeatable yet. Tochiazuma fought a tough bout, but managed to defeat Wakanosato with a throw. Asashoryu still leads.

8th day
Dejima won with a speedy push out against Kaiho for his 5th win. Shimotori with his right hand threw down Miyabiyama. Kyokutenho tried to attack Takanonami's throat but his thrust was not effective. Takanonami went straight forward to win his 6th bout Kotomitsuki seemed powerless before Hokutoriki's shoves, but at the edge of the ring, moved to the side to win. Takamisakari was no match for Asashoryu. The up and ocming star slipped. The Mongolian ozeki already clinched a majority win. Chiyotaikai had to redo the bout after the refrees judged that he and Tosanoumi were out of the ring at the same time. Both rammed into eachother. Tosa lost his balance and fell forward. Tochiazuma pulled back and pushed Tamakasuga to take him out. He at last earned his 4th win. Up and coming Takanowaka got hold of Musoyama's arm and gave thrusts to win. Musoyama faced his 2nd loss.

7th day
Dejima was thrown by Tochitsunada to face his 3rd defeat. Takanonami took out Kotomitsuki for his 5th win while Kotomitsuki's down to his 4th loss. Chiyotaikai stepped back from the center of the ring before facing off against Hokutoriki. The ozeki stood, attacked Hokutoriki's throat, but fell. It's Chiyo's 2nd loss. Tochiazuma went back and forth and in the end pushed out Tosanoumi to earn his 3rd bout. Musoyama had a smooth win over Kyokutenho. Miyabiyama pushed powerfully forward, but Asashoryu shifted to the side, and Miyabiyama dropped forward. Asashoryu still has a perfect record.

6th day
Musashimaru pulled out from this day complaining of severe pain due to a ripped tendon of his left wrist. He said that it was actually in the bout on the 3rd day he felt the pain. It's the 4th time he's withdrawing from a grand tournament. In the day's bouts, Dejima won a speedy bout against Jumonji to earn his 4th win. Miyabiyama was thrust down by Kotomitsuki. Both are 3 to 3. Tochiazuma was seen making an effort to charge forward. He pulled back to put Hokutoriki down. It's the ozeki's 2nd win. Musoyama thrust out Tamanoshima for his 5th win. Takanonami who defeated Musashimaru the previous day had an aggressive fight. But Asashoryu overwhemled, using his left leg to get the former ozeki off balance and put him down on the ring. Asashoryu kept his lead. All ozeki, won this day.

5th day
Dejima fought well getting low and going forward to push out Tochinonada. Miyabiyama pulled back and thrust down Tosanoumi. Takanowaka gave Kotomitsuki thrusts and then pushed a bit followed by a pull which got the sekiwake down. Musoyama went straight ahead to defeat Takamisakari. Asashoryu with thrusts defeated Tamakasuga. Chiyotaikai went forward too to drive out Tamanoshima. Tochiazuma lost again. He fell to Kyokutenho's overarm throw. Takanonami got hold of Musashimaru with his left and his shove promoted the yokozuna's foot to leave the ring. The former ozeki clinched the 57th bout between the two. With Maru's defeat Asashoryu is the only one with a perfect record.

4th day
Dejima with his arm around Kotonowaka shoved the big guy out. Both have a 2 to 2 record. Takamisakari fought well again, bearing thrusts by Tamanoshima, sticking on, and in the end, winning. The shining new star won his 3rd bout. Miyabiyama pushed Wakanosato to win and fell from the ring. Asashoryu pushed and shoved and walked out Takanowaka for his 4th victory. Chiyotaikai grabbed Kotomitsuki and drove the sekiwake out. Kyokutenho automatically won the bout against Kaio as Kaio pulled out to an injury sustained the previous day. Takanonami was pressured to the edge of the ring, but fought back and with his right arm drove out Tochiazuma. Tochiazuma is down to 3 losses. Musoyama was pushed toward the edge, but reversed his position with Tosanoumi to win. Musashimaru was no match for Hokutoriki winning easily.

3rd day
Dejima was shoved to the edge by Tamarikido and lost his 2nd bout. Tohki shoved Takamisakari's face but the Takamisakari did not pant. He rather pushed out Tohki for his 2nd win. Takanonami walked out Gojoro. Miyabiyama went for Chiyotaikai's throat but the ozeki stepped aside. Miyabiyama fell hands first. There were lots of disasters among other ozeki rankers. Kaio took Tosanoumi to the verge of the ring but was shoved back and took his first loss. Kaio was seen holding this right arm after the bout. It was learned later that Kaio tore his tendon. Takanowaka pushed Tochiazuma's head and the ozeki fell. Kotomitsuki shoved down Musoyama. Asashoryu, however, kept his perfect record by shoving down Hokutoriki. Musashimaru too is clean, pushing out Tamakasuga.

2nd day
Dejima this time quickly won with a push out against Tochisakae. Takanonami lifted Wakanosato to win. Tosanoumi with his heavy body pressed down Kotomitsuki. Kaio was welcomed with rhythmical cheers. He gave Miyabiyama thrusts and clinched the bout with a push down. Tochiazuma appeared to not take any adventurous move. He carefully fought the bout and with a shove, pushed out Tamanoshima. Musoyama was not fighting well, but in the end was able to avoid falling at the verge of the ring before Tamakasuga. Asashoryu with an underarm shove, got fellow Mongolian Kyokutanho down on the ring. As Chiyotaikai stood up to dash forward, Takanowaka shifted aside. The ozeki inevitably fell. Musashimaru easily walked out Takamisakari.

1st day
Takanohana was the only champion ranker out of the tourney. Perhaps this was one of the reason the first day did not draw a sellout crowd. In the makuuchi division, former ozeki Dejima was driven out by Ushiomaru. Up and coming new star Takamisakari did not show any fear toward Gojoro's attacks. He rather stuck to him, and in the end, won by driving Gojoro out. Kotomitsuki who regained the sekiwake post this tourney pushed out Tamanoshima. Tochiazuma was back after missing the whole of the previous tourney. He's been reported to be in good shape, but was easily taken out by Miyabiyama. For Musoyama his fight against Hokutoriki was like a breeze. Tosanoumi charged against Asashoryu but was put down on his knee. Chiyotaikai attacked Takanonami's throat rhythmically and pushed the former ozeki out. Kaio attracted enormous applause as he's from Fukuoka. And he was able to satisfy the crowd by taking out Takanowaka. Kyokutenho got himself under Musashimaru, taking control. But Musashimaru skillfully got a better position to drive the Mongolian out.

Pre Tourney highlights
Takanohana announces surprise pull out
On Nov 8 Takanohana held a press conference to announce that he will not participate in the Kyushu tourney. He said that his right knee which he injured last year was in bad shape again. It'll be he will miss the 5 out of 6 grand tourneys this year and in total its the 16th tourney withdrawal.

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