EMPEROR'S CUP WINNER: TAKANOHANA
Outstanding Performance Award: Asashoryu
Outstanding Technique Award: Kotomitsuki
Fighting Spirit Award: none
Terao slapped Tamakasuga, but his thrusts slipped and was pushed out. Terao finished the tourney with 2 wins 13 losses at maegashira number 9. He may possibly be demoted to juryo next tourney. Asashoryu attacked Akinoshima and as he gave an underarm throw fell into a split. Asashoryu clinched a majority win. Miyabiyama was toppled by Kotonowaka easily as he tried to clash into his opponent. Both finished with 9 wins 6 losses. Dejima took out Tochinonada for his 5th win. Chiyotaikai attacked Musoyama and won by thrusting him down. Chiyo showed this tourney that he was back in shape with a record 12 wins 3 losses. And, the highlight of the day, brought more then what was expected. Takanohana was on the ring to fight with his right knee all patched. And from the time he was doing his "shikiri" on the ring, his knee was wobbly. Fans and sumo experts were sure Taka would not only lose, but worsen his knee injury by standing on the ring. To face off the first time, Takanohana was too quick. And then to restart, he would refrained from standing up for a while. And at last, the two stood. Musashimaru shifted aside to let Taka fall. The two have tied in the tourney standing and went into a playoff. In the playoff, Takanohana gave thrusts. Musashimaru did not appear to be fighting too forcefully. But upon realizing that Taka was not giving up, it was already too late. Taka had Maru's belt. And the Hawaiian born was defeated by Taka's overarm throw. Taka's victory expression was wild. A kind, he never shows. Fans were surprised and fascinated. Even Japan's new Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, upon awarding him said "You have dealt with your injury well. I was moved." For Taka, it's his 22nd Emperor's Cup.
Michiyo's Note: It was clear all sumo fans were depressed to see Taka's knee look really bad as he was getting ready for the final fight. Most probably wished that he'd pull out, even though this would have meant that the final day would have been very boring. But his final bout showed that he was committed to fight despite the injury. And Terao is reported to have said that watching Taka's attitude toward sumo, his own injury was no reason for not being able to fight well this tourney. Taka demonstrated professionalism, and the dignity of a yokozuna. Fans are worried, however, whether Taka will be able to recover fast enough for the next tourney...
Kotomitsuki falls and out goes Wakanosato. It happened almost at the same time. But the refrees judged that Kotomitsuki won. It's his 9th win. Asashoryu did not fight his style. He immediately went for Hayateumi's belt. And Hatateumi with an under arm throw defeated the Mongolian, Tochiazuma gave thrusts and shoves to drive out Miyabiyama. Both are with 9 wins 5 losses. Dejima dashed and attacked Takanonami. But the former ozeki stepped aside to clinch his majority win. Dejima faced his 10th loss. Takanohana stood up quicker than Musoyama. The yokozuna, as he got Musoyama's belt, found it lose. He shoved but Musoyama gave a twisted throw to win. Cushions were scattered on the ring in response to the upset. The other yokozuna pushed down Chiyotaikai. Musashimaru still has a chance of clinching the Emperor's Cup if he defeats Takanohana on the final day, and defeats him again in a playoff. The bad news was, after the bout, it was learned that Takanohana had dislocated his right knee.
Takanonami again with a similar style as that of the previous day defeated Tochinohana for his 7th win. Dejima was able to defeat Tokitsuumi for his 4th win. Musoyama charged from his head to take out Tochisakae and clinched a majority win. Miyabiyama pushed out Hayateumi for his 9th win. Musashimaru got Tochiazuma's arm and dragged him out. The highlight of the day was the final bout. Takanohana was challenged by Chiyotaikai. Chiyo gave thrusts one after another. But the yokozuna did not budge. The Chiyo tried to change the pace by pulling back. But that improved chances for the yokozuna to push the ozeki out. Takanohana won again. And Chiyotaikai and Musashimaru tied for second place with 2 losses each.
Takanonami got his arms around his opponents shoulders as always. And he took out Kotomitsuki. It's the former ozeki's 6th win. Asashoryu fell from his head and twirled like in a failed break dance to succumb to his 6th loss in the bout against Wakanosato. Tochiazuma and Musoyama clashed against eachother. And Tochiazuma pushed the ozeki down for his majority win. Musoyama is down to 5 losses. Chiyotaikai gave thrusts to Hayateumi and finally thrust him out. Dejima practically was chasing Kaiho on the ring and drove him out. It's Dejima's 3rd win. Takanohana moved quickly and at seemingly one breath took out Miyabiyama. The yokozuna marked his 684th win, or the 4th most in modern history. The top 3 are Chiyonofuji, Kitanoumi and Taiho. Musashimaru with his right arm around Kotonowaka took the big opponent out. Takanohana is still on top followed by Chiyotaikai and Musashimaru.
The 2 new stars faced eachother. They are Kotomitsuki and Asashoryu. Kotomitsuki was able to resist the attacks by the Mongolian and took the opponent out. Miyabiyama shoved and threw down Kaiho to clinch a majority win. Dejima tried hard to attack but Chiyotaikai pushed the fellow ozeki out. Dejima faced his 9th loss while Chiyotaikai picked up his 10th win . Musoyama got hold of Hayateumi's belt with his left and pushed him down. The Hawaiian born ozeki and former ozeki met for the 50th time. However, Takanonami was powerless. He was taken out by Musashimaru who clinched his 9th win. Takanohana had an easy win over Tochisakae to keep his record perfect.
Asashoryu was not good enough today. Tochinonada pushed the Mongolian down. Tosanoumi charged towards Wakanosato, but was thrown out the ring. Both are with 6 wins 4 losses. Tamakasuga moved away and pushed down Dejima. Dejima rolled out the ring and succumbed to his 8th lose. He will have to fight as "kadoban" ozeki the next tourney, meaning if he gets a majority loss again, he will be demoted. Musoyama pushed down Takanonami for his 6th win. Chiyotaikai pulled back and thrust down Miyabiyama. Takanohana got hold of Hayateumi and turned, and took him out. Musashimaru pushed out Tochisakae for his 8th win. Takanohana remains the leader followed by Chiyotaikai.
2 tall rikishi fought eachother. Takanonami seemed to be one step towards a victory when he tried to throw Kotonowaka. But he did not throw hard enough that Kotonowaka on the other hand got the former ozeki down with an underarm throw. Asoshoryu did not stop fighting. He with his left hand got hold of the back of Takanowaka's belt and snapped him down. The Mongolian clinched his 6th win. The 2nd highest prized bout was between Kotomitsuki and Tochiazuma. It was a tough struggle for both, and in the end, Tochiazuma walked his opponent out. Musoyama thrust down Tamakasuga. Hayateumi picked up his 7th win, relieved from fighting Kaio who pulled out. Chiyotaikai thrust out Wakanosato for his 8th win, securing his ozeki post. Miyabiyama pushed down from the back of Tochinonada's head successfully for his 7th win. Musashimaru walked out Tosanoumi to improve his record to 6-2. Takanohana was no match for Dejima. He powerfully took the ozeki out. Dejima is down to 7 losses, while Takanohana still has a perfect record.
Takanonami in his own style picked up Kyokutenho for his 5th win. Musoyama drove out Tosanoumi for his 4th win. Kaio was stiff. Chiyotaikai got him by the throat, and pulled back effectively. Kaio fell, and succumbed to his 4th loss. During that bout, he's reported to have caused pain to his bottom which was already in bad shape. And he decided to pull out from the tourney. Miyabiyama thrust down Wakanosato for his 6th victory. Takanohana collected a majority win without even fighting. Wakanosato, who badly injured his leg, and lost conscious during the bout the previous day withdrew. Asashoryu beat the weak ozeki. Dejima was taken out for his 6th loss while for the Mongolian his 5th win. Musashimaru successfully pushed out Kotomitsuki down the ring for his 6th win.
There was a full house for the first time this tourney. Kaio got himself smashing Wakanoyama. Wakanoyama was tipsy after getting up . And he was wheelchaired to the doctor. Chiyotaikai drove Takanowaka out after a retake. Miyabiyama fought against Asashoryu fast, and put his weight on top of the Mongolian to win. Dejima dashed forward, but Kotomitsuki was not impressed, and moved aside, to push the ozeki down. Dejima is with 5 losses while Kotomitsuki picked up his 5th win. Musoyama turned his back toward Tochinonada and was pushed out. Musashimaru at last fought like a yokozuna. He walked Hayateumi out. Takanohana gave thrusts and then took out Tochiazuma. Due to the fact that Higonoumi lost, Takanohana has now become the only one with a perfect record.
Terao at last won his 2nd bout by thrusting down Kaiho. Asashoryu, although he fought with great fervor again failed to overwhelm Tochiazuma. Chiyotaiikai threw Tosanoumi for his 5th win. Miyabiyama pulled back and pushed down Tamakasuga. Dejima managed to win this tie by defeating Tamanoshima. The most astonishing bout on the day was definitely the one between ozeki Musoyama and Kotomitsuki. It was stopped twice or was called "mizuiri", because of its length of 9 minutes 17 seconds. Still neither one gave in. So what happened was that after Kaio lost to Wakanosato, and Takanowaka was defeated by the almighty Takanohana, the bout was retaken. The this tme, Kotomitsuki managed to take out the exhausted ozeki. It's the first time since 1978 that a retake of such extent took place.
Miyabiyama managed to have one foot in the ring while Tosanoumi fell. Dejima lost again--his 4th bout already. Takanowaka pushed the ozeki down. Musoyama pushed out Chiyotenzan. Kaio, who lost the 2 previous bouts, won at last by driving out Tochiazuma. The Mongolian did it again. Asashoryu pushed Chiyotaikai down for his 4th win. Chiyotaikai succumbed to his first loss. Musashimaru walked ouat Tamanoshima. Takanohana was sturdy. With his thrust, down went Wakanosato.
Guatemalan President Alfonso Cabrera looked on. Takanonami won again. This time, he thrust down Tamakasuga. There were mostly disappointing results for ozeki rankers. Dejima fell down when Chiyotenzan pushed his leg. The ozeki is down to 3 losses. Musoyama, despite a not so impressive bout, defeated Takanowaka by throwing him . Kaio lost again. The up and coming Asashoryu kept clinging on to his leg, and in the end, Kaio's hand touched the dirt. Asashoryu has beaten 2 ozeki so far. Chiyotaikai, as he stood to fight, pushed Kotomitsuki down. But Miyabiyama, as he fought, lost his balance, and fell. For Tamanoshima, this bout marked his first win. Takanohana powerfully walked out Tochinonada to keep his record clean. The other yokozuna, Musashimaru was not showing much power. But managed to drive out Wakanosato as he was pulled down.
Former ozeki Takanonami pushed down Tosanoumi for his 2nd win. Musoyama gave thrusts, and won his first bout by defeating Tamanoshima. Yokozuna hope, Kaio, fought Kotomitsuki. But he was not powerful enough, that Kotomitsuki got the back of the ozeki's belt and drove him out. It's Kaio's first loss. Chiyotaikai pulled back and won by thrusting down Tochinonada. Miyabiyama pushed out Chiyotenzan. Another ozeki lost. It's Dejima. It's his 2nd loss already. And a surprise was that yokozuna Musashimaru recorded his 2nd loss too. He pushed forward, but Takanowaka pulled aside, and that put the yokozuna off. 20-year old Asashoryu, this time, faced Takanohana. But his thrusts were not effective, and lost to a push out.
Terao, the time was taken out by Aminishiki. Takanonami forced Hayateumi down for his first win. Kaio, who is trying for yokozuna, walked Takanowaka out. Miyabiyama turned his back to Kotomitsuke and was shoved out. Dejima managed to thrust down Tosanoumi. As his parents from Mongolian looked on, Asashoryu pushed and pulled back, perplexing Musoyama. And in the end, Asashoryu threw the ozeki down to win another bout from a high ranker. Takanohana walked out Tamanoshima, while Musashimaru thrust down Chiyotenzan for his first win.
The first to be welcome with great applause this tourney was veteran Terao. He pushed and pulled away causing Kotonowaka to drop. Takanonami got his way, midway. That's getting his opponent's arm under his. But at the very end, Kaiho who is more than 10 cm smaller, forced the former ozeki out. Chiyotaikai was finally back after missing the entire tourney last time, and the majority the tourney before. He pushed and moved back, causing Wakanoyama to fall. Miyabiyama pushed out Takanowaka. And there were upsets too. Dejima shoved Tochiazuma to the edge of the ring, but no further. Tochiazuma got hold of Dejima's belt and threw him. Wakanosato drove out Musoyama. Critics were not sure whether Kaio who did not practice for days before this tourney was in good shape. But in his bout, he pushed and his motion before emitting a throw got Tochinonada on the dirt. Kaio was strong. Mongolian Asashoryu fought as Komusubi for the first time. The promotion makes him the quickest rising rikishi, by getting to the rank in 14 tourneys. He ties with Konishiki's record. Asashoryu faced the man he so admired. It's Musashimaru. The Mongolian got himself under Maru's body. And Maru pushed forward. But, Asashoryu, with his right hand which has been clinching the yokozuna's belt, threw. The great big Hawaiian born rikishi was toppled. It was shocking to the fans and probably to Maru too. In the final bout of the day, Kotomitsuki tried not to let Takanohana get hold of his belt, but in the end, the yokozuna proved much more skillful.
Pre Tourney highlights
Provincial sumo tours to be lessened
It was made clear by the Japan Sumo Association on May 8 that it will end its agreement with its advertiser and will form a tie-up with local organizations for its sumo tours. Since 1995, the sumo troupe has gone on local tours for 60 days annually. But this number may have to go down next year.
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