Musashimaru is YOKOZUNA!!!
Messengers of the Japan Sumo Association visited the Musashigawa stable on May 26. It's run by former yokozuna Mienoumi. Musashimaru sat between his stablemaster and his wife to welcome the harbingers. Former yokozuna Kitanoumi conveyed to the threesome that Musashimaru has been officially declared. On May 24, the yokozuna promotion committee decided to promote Musashimaru to yokozuna. Musashimaru responded slowly, that he would humbly accept the status and will devote to the development of his mind, skill and body... or rather, he tried to say all that, but stumbled and reversed the phrase. He said in an interview afterwards that he was very nervous and embarrassed because he could not do it right. At any rate, Musashimaru is the 67th yokozuna.
EMPEROR'S CUP WINNER: MUSASHIMARU
Fighting Spirit Award: Kaio
Outstanding Performance Award: Chiyotenzan, Tosanoumi
Outstanding Technique Award: Wakanosato
It's the 4th time the tourney has attracted a fullhouse. Wakanosato got both hands on the ground as Tochiazuma pushed him over thus giving up all prospective of winning the Emperor's Cup. Kaio immediately got hold of Takanonami's belt with one hand, swung him once and drove him out. The komusubi, or champion second class, finished the tourney with an excellent record of 12 wins 3 losses. The huge Hawaiian borns clashed into eachother. Both got a firm hold of eachother's belt. Musashimaru shoved Akebono towards the end of the ring--Akebono withheld and the crowd was overjoyed. But Maru pushed Akebono down with both his hands for the final blow. Akebono crashed down the ring. The victory gave Musashimaru the Emperor's Cup for the 5th time. It's his 2nd tourney win in a row. After the tourney, it will be seen if the yokozuna committee will select Maru to the highest post.
Tochinowaka who turned 37 was pushed down the ring by Hamanoshima, and was not able to celebrate. He's down to 4 wins 10 losses. Chiyotenzan took Miyabiyama's belt and threw him out. Chiyotenzan secured a majority win while Miyabiyama, for the first time since he made his pro sumo debut succumbed to a majority loss. Tohki lost the power he had earlier during the tourney. He was driven out easily by Dejima. Kaio hit the back of Higonoumi's head and pushed him down for his 11th win. Musashimaru held Wakanosato tightly with his right arm and pushed him down. That victory made him the sole leader. Akebono got hold of the back of Takanonami's belt and shoved him out. All eyes will be on the bout between Akebono and Musashimaru slated for the final day to determine the winner, or possibly lead to a round robin battle joined by Kaio, Wakanosato and Akebono if Maru loses.
This time, Wakanosato after clashing against Dejima pulled back and shoved him out. Kaio attacked Tohki's throat and easily drove him out for his 10th win. The 2 ozeki looked into eachother's eyes fiercely as they went through the ceremonious motion. The bout took off and Takanonami got into his regular habit of placing one arm around the opponents shoulder. He tried to force down Musashimaru, but in vane. His arm slipped and Maru pushed him out. Akebono got hold of Akinoshima's belt and drove him out for his 10th win. Musashimaru and Wakanosato are still the leaders. Akebono, and Kaio follow.
Wakanosato drove out Kyokutenho for his 10th win. Kaio is for real. Upon gripping Akinoshima's belt, he successfully gave a powerful overarm throw. The 2 men tied for first place faced eachother. Tohki pushed and pushed, but he pulled back at one point. Musashimaru took advantage of it and pushed Tohki out. Takanonami was taken to the edge of the ring twice by Tamakasuga. He withstood the shove and in the end won by throwing down Takamakasuga. Akebono attacked Aogiyama's throat and thrusted him out. Now Musashimaru and Wakanosato are the only 2 who have won 10 bouts.
Ganyu is back after missing 2 days. And he's shown determination to win by beating Ohhinode. Ganyu is with 6 wins 4 losses and 1 rest. Tohki overwhelmed Hamanoshima for his 9th victory. Kotonishiki went down low and pushed hard against Wakanosato. Both fell, but it was judged that Wakanosato's foot was still within the ring while Kotonishiki was already down on the ground. Wakanosato improved his record too. Kaio pushed, then grabbed Tochinonada's arm, and swung him out of the ring. Tochinonada fell hard and could not get up. He was diagnosed later to have ripped a ligament in his left elbow and will take 2 months to recover. Both ozeki won, and so did the sole yokozuna. The leaders are still Musashimaru, Wakanosato and Tohki.
Tohki held Kyokutenho's cheeks with both his hands--pushed, then pulled back for the win. Wakanosato pushed out Higonoumi for his 8th win. Musashimaru put on a powerful bout against veteran Tochinowaka. Takanonami as usual placed one arm over his opponent Aogiyama's shoulder-- another around his back and forced him out. Kotonishiki challenged Akebono. At one point, Kotonishiki got a position under the yokozuna's stomach. But he pulled away and showed a meaningless leap. He was pushed out. Tied for first place are Musashimaru, Wakanosato and Tohki. The 2nd group consists of 6.
Tohki pushed out Minatofuji for his 7th win. Kotonowaka at last clinched his first win of the tourney. He did so by throwing down Tochinonada. The bout between Takanonami and Miyabiyama was suddenly stopped by the refree when both were in the middle of the ring--or so it seemed. It was that when Takanonami was pushing Miyabiyama near the edge of the ring earlier, Miyabiyama's foot left the ring by just an inch. So the ozeki who did not realize this was given a surprising win. Musashimaru virtually blew Kotonishiki out of the ring. As a result, both are with 7 wins and 2 losses. Akebono was choking Chiyotenzan with his hand on his throat as he shoved the young wrestler out. Those with 2 losses are in the leading pack of 5. They include Kotonishiki, Musashimaru and Tohki.
Two of the leaders, Tohki and Kotonishiki faced eachother. Kotonishiki charged toward Tohki and pushed him out to keep the lead. The top rankings were filled with surprises. Chiyotenzan got hold of Musashimaru's left arm after clashing into him and drove the ozeki out. Maru looked totally stupified. Since Wakanohana decided to withdraw from the tourney from this day, Kyokushuzan was automatically given a win. Takanonami quickly pulled back as Tochiazuma pushed forward. Takanonami's bad strategy caused him a loss. Akebono and Kaio's bout became inactive for awhile. Both appeared to be aiming for a hold of eachother's belt. But it was Kaio who successfully defeated the giant to an overarm throw. Akebono easily rolled on the ring. The spectator threw their cushions in response to the upset. At the end of the day, Kotonishiki became the sole leader of the tourney with just one loss.
It's the first time this tourney attracted a full crowd. Tohki faced a disappointing, powerless loss against Aogiyama for his first defeat. Ozeki Takanonami grapped Kyokushuzan in his usual favorite position and took the Mongolian wrestler out for his 5th win. The other ozeki had a competitive bout against Kaio. Kaio though lost patience and tried to throw Musashimaru out by force, but his hand slipped and was instead driven out. For the first time, Miyabiyama faced Akebono. Miyabiyama tried to move aside to make the yokozuna lose balance. Akebono was almost tricked, but quickly recovered and attacked Miyabiyama like a wild animal and threw him out of the ring. Kotonishiki clashed against Wakanohana. Waka, pulled back and Kotonishiki took advantage of that move and quickly took the yokozuna out. Waka faced his 4th loss. After the bout, Wakanohana went to the hospital for a check up. 3 are tied for the lead. They are Tohki, Musashimaru and Kotonishiki each with one loss.
Tohki again won. He attacked Tochitsuumi's throat and took him out. The strongest guy this tourney...or that's what most people thought about Musashimaru. But Mongolian, Kyokushuzan got down low and took the Hawaiian born with his left hand and threw him down. Maru faced his first defeat. The other ozeki, Takanonami too lost. His opponent, Kotonishiki pushed him out. Upsets did not stop there. Wakanohana was pushed out by the up and coming Chiyotenzan. It's the first time Chiyotenzan defeated a yokozuna. Akebono was about to fall forward on the edge of the ring. He gained composure and kept on going after Takatoriki--the guy he always has a hard time defeating. But in the end, the yokozuna pushed Takatoriki out. Tohki is the only one with a perfect record at this point.
Tohki drove Kaiho out of the ring for his 5th win. Takanonami picked Chiyotenzan up and forced him out. The ozeki is 4 to 1. Musashimaru shoved Takatoriki. As Takatoriki tried to resist, Maru pulled back. Takatoriki fell forward. Akebono squeezed Tochinonada's face with both hands as they stood up to fight, and overwhelmed in the bout with a power of a yokozuna. It was Miyabiyama's first challenge against a yokozuna. He attacked Wakanohana with all his might. But Waka showed skill. He twisted Miyabiyama with his right hand and dropped him on the ring. Tohki and Musashimaru are the only 2 with a perfect record.
It was as if Miyabiyama was doing a cartwheel as he was thrown out of the ring by Mongolian Kyokushuzan. Kyokushuzan happily earned his first win. Musashimaru showed great technique this time. He held Tosanumi's arm in a position that kept him powerless and shoved fiercely in the win. 2 tall fighters were next. But it was a smooth bout for Takanonami who took out Kotonowaka. Wakanohana pulled back as he fought Tochinonada. He pulled back too far that he fell out of the ring. It appeared he banged himself strongly on the ring that he couldn't get up for awhile. Akebono showed his quick thrusts in the bout against Tochiazuma and won.
Miyabiyama finally showed his stuff. He thrusted Takatoriki with tremendous power for his first win. Dejima immediately got a good hold of Takanonami. The ozeki could but only struggle. Dejima and Takanonami are both with 2 wins and a loss. Musashimaru over powered Tochiazuma by taking him out the ring. The yokozuna everyone has lost confidence in face another big guy, Kotonowaka. Akebono went for his throat and pushed him out. There was an uproar of relief from the crowd. It's Akebono's first win in months. Tosanoumi gave big thrusts that drove Wakanohana out of the ring. It's the 2nd time Tosa has defeated a yokozuna this tourney, accumulating his total yokozuna victory to 10. Musashimaru is among the champion class wrestlers, the only one with a perfect record.
Miyabiyama pushed and shoved but Kaio turned the sumo around and took him out. The new hairdo is not giving Miyabiyama luck. Last tourney champion was almost pushed out by Tochinonada. But Musashimaru successfull shoved back for his 2nd win. It was a competitive bout that excited fans. The other ozeki, Takanonami pulled back while Tosanoumi pushed. Tosanoumi lost balance for leaning too forward. Wakanohana had a difficult bout against the tall Kotonowaka. He tried tripping Kotonowaka with his leg but failed. In the end, the two had eachother's belt with one hand and tugged at eachother at the edge of the ring. Both fell off the ring. Slow motion video showed that Kotonowaka's elbow touched the floor first, therefore, the win was given to the yokozuna. Akebono lost again. He was shoved out too easily by Dejima.
The tourney in Tokyo was unable to attract a fullhouse on its starting day. But it was the day fans at last were able to finally see Akebono back and Wakanohana too-- earlier than expected. Mitoizumi, who fell to juryo was matched up with a new makuuchi rikishi Yotsukasa. The newcomer to the highest division defeated the popular saltshaker. The spectators actually came alive when the goodlooking Terao came on to fight. He did not get a good fighting position but was able to defeat Higonoumi with an underarm throw. Miyabiyama made his first tourney appearance with his hair tied up and face looking tighter. But it's not long enough yet to put up in a fan shaped top knot. He faced 32 year-old Akinoshima who has the chance for promotion to ozeki. Akinoshima easily won by taking the guy with the new hairdo out by his arm. Takanonami quickly found his favorite position and walked out Tochinonada. Musashimaru's slow thrusts were effective that they put Kotonowaka off balance. The great big Akebono gave small thrusts that took Tosanoumi to the end of the ring. But they weren't powerful enough. Tosanoumi pushed him back and stopped the bout, by toppling the yokozuna down the ring. Wakanohana shifted motion soon after the bout tooked off and defeated Tosanoumi.
Pre Tourney highlights
Many top rankers may be out again.
It's been confirmed that Musoyama will not make it in time. But Akebono seems ready at last after missing 3 straight tourneys! On May 7, Takanohana informed the Japan Sumo Association that he has not recovered enough to be able to participate. This is the 5th grand tourney Taka will miss.
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