None of the sekiwake and komusubi were able to finish the tournament with a majority win. It's the first time in 7 years that they all collapsed.
Kaio, originally from Fukuoka marked his 8th win by driving out the Saltshaker, Mitoizumi. He was given a big applause by the people of his hometown. It has been 4 tournaments since Kaio's had a majority win. Wakanohana clinched his 10th victory. The ozeki gave Kotonishiki a twisting throw. Takanonami defeated Tochiazuma in a fury, and Takanohana beat Musashimaru to tie with Takanonami for a playoff. The yokozuna and ozeki are from the same stable. Therefore, they are never matched up unless a playoff takes place. Immediately after clashing into eachother, the yokozuna had gripped Takanonami's belt with both hands. Takanonami held Takanohana's belt with only his right. They stood still for a couple of seconds and then Takanonami forced the yokozuna on the floor of the ring. It was a powerful overarm throw. The victory gave the 26-year old, 197 cm tall giant his 2nd Emperor's Cup.
Michiyo's Note: It's great to see someone other than Takanohana win the Emperor's Cup. At the same time, there's a sense of emptiness. I already miss Konishiki!
Konishiki didn't come on the ring. In the afternoon, his stablemaster submitted his retirement document to the Japan Sumo Association. It was accepted. Konishiki expressed desire to fight until the very last day of this tourney, but his hope was turned down. He was not permitted to fight against Misugisato with whom he was matched. His stablemate Mitoizumi was able to defeat Asanowaka to mark his 8th win. He was all smiles after the bout and mentioned that he would like to report to Konishiki that he's secured his majority win. Mongolian rikishi Kyokushuzan also clinched his 8th win. He toppled Kotonowaka in a bout that lasted over a minute 30 seconds. Musashimaru and Takanonami fought eachother in a quick bout. They thrusted eachother as they took off, but then Musashimaru was slammed to the floor by the other ozeki. Takanohana threw Tochiazuma for his 13th win. Now the yokozuna and Takanomai are the only leaders. They are followed by Musashimaru.
I hate to tell you this, but Konishiki lost to Kotonowaka. Being down to 8 losses means that it's become very difficult for the Dump Truck to remain in the makuuchi division. Konishiki walked back to the dressing room wiping his tears with both his hands. He didn't talk to reporters about retirement this day. There was a group of Mongolians dressed in red costumes attending the tourney. They came to cheer on fellow countryman. Kyokushuzan was revved up with energy, and got Kotonishiki out by picking up his leg. He marked his 7th win. Ozeki Wakanohana and Musashimaru faced eachother. The Hawaiian born gave the older Hanada brother a big thrust for his 12th victory. Meanwhile, Takanonami and yokozuna Takanohana also won their bouts.
Konishiki had to fight 2 bouts this day. In the first one, while he tried to push Gojoro, he himself fell. Since it was declared by the judges that both rikishi were out at the same time, they had to redo the match. The second match had more movement. They both fought around the ring. However, Konishiki could not keep up and fell. This is the last loss Konishiki can take if he is to stay in the top makuuchi division. As for the ozeki and yokozuna, all of them won.
Another popular rikishi, Kyokushuzan faced Konishiki. The Mongolian easily threw the over 270 kilo man. Konishiki is down to 5-6. Kotonishiki aggressively attacked Musashimaru, but his strikes were not effective. The ozeki took him out the ring. Wakanohana defeated Kotoinazuma to an overarm throw. Takanonami amazingly won, despite Musoyama's persistent attacks. The yokozuna had a smooth victory over Tochinowaka. So the leaders remain to be the same people.
Konishiki was matched up with Kyokutenko, a Mongolian ranked in the top of the juryo division. Though still in an inferior division, Kyokutenko easily drove out Konishiki. Too bad for Mainoumi. He was thrusted out by Mitoizumi for his 8th loss. Ozeki Wakanohana beat Tochiazuma, Takananoumi easily took out Tochinowaka, and Musashimaru pushed out Kaio. Takanohana too won. He defeated 21 year old Chiyotaikai. Therefore, the yokozuna and the 2 ozeki, Takanonami and Musashimaru keep the lead together.
In a matter of 5 seconds or so, Konishiki drove Shikishima out for his 5th win. Now, the bouts in the top rankings were outrageous. Takanonami was defeated by Oginishiki to an overarm throw. Musashimaru was pushed out by Takatohriki. Actually, Maru seemed to have been overwhelmed by Takatohriki's pungent look in the eye before they took off to fight. Then Wakanohana too was pushed out by Chiyotaikai. So all 3 ozeki lost. Takanohana had an easy win over Kaio and has been joined by Takanonami and Musashimaru to lead with one loss each.
The man cheered on more than anyone else proved how powerful his underarm pressure still is. Konishiki took out Kotoryu by holding firmly both his arms. The Hawaiian Japanese marked his 4th win. An unfortunate news is that Dejima decided to pull out from the tourney due to the injury of the left leg. Tochinonada, therefore, was automatically given the win. Wakanohana succumbed to his 3rd loss. Kaio forced him out by the arm. Musashimaru successfully thrusted Tochinowaka out of the ring, while Takanonami shoved Kotonishiki to the floor. So the 2 ozeki remain to be the leaders.
Aogiyama pulled Konishiki's arm which toppled him. Konishiki's record had fallen to 3-4. Chuo University alumni were matched together. They are Tamakasuga and new sekiwake Dejima. They went for eachother energetically. Tamakasuga who is 2 grades above toppled Dejima. After the bout. Dejima could hardly stand on his own. He was wheelchaired out the hall and rushed to the hospital for an examination of his left leg. There were no upsets among the ozeki and yokozuna. Musashimaru and Takanonami lead with a perfect record each, followed by Takanohana and maegashira wrestler Kotoryu.
Konishiki faced fellow Hawaiian born Yamato who is 8 years his junior. They clashed into eachother. Konishiki's chin was positioned much higher than the young Hawaiian's. That hindered him from taking further action and was driven out. Tochiazuma easily lost again, this time, to the quick moving Kotonishiki. Wakanohana too succumbed to his 2nd straight defeat. Tosanoumi got him with an overarm throw. Yokozuna, Takanohana drove out Hamanoshima successfully this time. Musashimaru and Takanonami are still the only ones undefeated.
It's like seeing Konishiki in his good ole days! Wakanoshu tried to struggle against the Hawaiian Japanese with all his might, but it proved ineffective. Konishiki is 3 to 2 now. Saltshaker, Mitoizumi marked his 700th win by defeating Kotonowaka. Tochiazuma's right ankle sprained the previous day indeed seemed to bother him. He couldn't keep up at all with Kaio. So he sustained his 1st loss. Other rikishi who have had a perfect tourney so far had spoiled their record too. Wakanohana pulled back and lost to Tochinonada. His younger brother Takanohana lost balance, and slipped his arm as he tried to reach for Asahiyutaka's shoulder. The yokozuna crashed outside the ring. The upsets have suddenly narrowed down the top candidates for the Emperor's Cup to just Musashimaru and Takanonami.
Konishiki won again! He defeated the little Mainoumi. To start with, both were very cautious. Mainoumi took the first move by jumping into the Dump Truck's stomach. Konishiki, however, clinched his belt and drove Mainoumi out. Mainoumi, by the way, has not yet won a bout. Tochiazuma appeared to have been toppled out the ring successfully by Asahiyutaka. Immediately after the bout though, the judges came on the ring to discuss the event. What happened was that Asahiyutaka drove Tochiazuma out by grabbing his topknot. This is against the rule. So Tochiazuma picked up the win instead. But he didn't look at all happy, having injured his right leg during the match. As for the ozeki and yokozuna, they all won their bouts.
The most exciting moment this day was when Konishiki successfully gripped Kitakachidoki's belt and walked him out. The entire hall was roaring with applause. Konishiki had not had a win since the final day of the Nagoya tourney. In other bouts, Mainoumi was easily driven out by Terao. The two up and coming rikishi, Tochiazuma and Tochinonada faced eachother. The long bout was put to an end at 1 minute 31 seconds when Tochiazuma suddenly acted quickly to shove his opponent out. None of the champion rankers were defeated again.
It's the first time in 8 years that a grand tourney held outside of Tokyo failed to attract a full audience. There were even "masu" seats, or box seats for 4 people were unoccupied. The bouts too, therefore, seemed not as tense this day. Konishiki was easily shoved out the ring by Minatofuji. He didn't try to resist the guy even once. Tochiazuma defeated Tosanoumi with an overarm throw. Dejima, this time, had control of the bout, and pushed Asahiyutaka out of the ring. Not one of the champion class rikishi lost their bouts.
Good gracious, Konishiki came on the ring. He faced the chunky fighter Asanowaka who slipped away to the side immediately at the start of the bout. Asanowaka grapped Konishiki's arm and took him out. The Hawaiian born rikishi was given a big hand despite the defeat. Another bout that the audience especially enjoyed was between the smallest wrestler, Mainoumi and the Mongolian born Kyokushuzan. They'd stare at eachother for a while as boxers do before deciding on a definite move. In the end, Kyokushuzan carried the little guy out. Kaio is back as maegashira number 3. The aggressive Takatohriki rushed toward him, but too fast as soon as the bout started. Kaio only needed to step back for Takatohriki to land on the ring. New sekiwake Dejima was easily pushed out by Oginishiki. All 3 ozeki and the only yokozuna who is fighting this time, Takanohana, were victorious.
Pre Tourney highlights
Yokozuna Akebono has announced on Nov. 7, that he will not be able to take part in the Kyushu tourney. He had seriously injured his left knee in the previous tourney, and was not able to take part in any of the local tours. He was working hard to make it to the Kyushu tourney, but failed to recover as well as to reduce his weight so as to alleviate pressure on the leg..
Dejima skipped the rank of komusubi, getting a promotion to sekiwake for this tourney. It has taken him 10 tourneys to win the title. Another former collegiate sumo wrestler, Tochinonada is a new komusubi.
Fans are worried about the big guy, Konishiki. He has been ranked maegashira number 14, barely keeping his post in the top division. A stomach problem had kept him from taking part in local tours, and had been hospitalized in Nagoya on Nov.1 due to a stomach problem. He arrived in Fukuoka for the final tourney of the year after his release that day.
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