KAIO is at last ozeki!
On July 26, messengers of the Japan Sumo Association visited the Tomozuna stable in Nagoya. In the formal meeting, they conveyed to Kaio and his stablemaster that he has qualified for promotion to ozeki. Kaio accepted the the message and said that he hopes to give himself to training so as not to paint dirt on the title of ozeki. It's for the 3rd tourney in a row that a new ozeki is born. But with Musoyama's demotion, the total number of ozeki remains the same in the autumn tourney from the latest tourney of 4.
EMPEROR'S CUP WINNER: AKEBONO
Outstanding Performance Award: Kaio
Outstanding Technique Award: Tochiazuma
Fighting Spirit Award: Takamisakari, Aminishiki
The outcome of the day's bout is important for Kaio. Wakanoyama tried to move to the side to fool Kaio. But it was not effective. Kaio with one strong arm drove him out to clinch his 11th win. Kaio's chance to be promoted to yokozuna is high. An opposite from him this tourney is Musoyama who will have to give up his ozeki ranking next tourney. He marked his 11th loss against Oginishiki. In the final bout, the 2 yokozuna met. Musashimaru held his head low and drove Akebono out. Maru finished the tourney 10-5 and Akebono who's tourney victory was decided 2 days ago ended 13 - 2. Akebono celebrated his victory with his 2 year old daughter and newly born son.
In the juryo division, the popular Terao who fought makuuchi ranker Shikishima was beaten marking his majority loss. Musoyama at last won after 6 straight losses. He threw Hayateumi on the ring. Dejima managed to shove Kyokutenho for his 10th win. Takanonami fought like an ozeki by slamming Miyabiyama on the ring. The new ozeki is down to 9 losses. The final 2 bouts were exciting. Kaio and Musashimaru both tried to stop eachother from getting a grip of eachother's belts. Kaio then decided on a surpise action. He with his right foot kicked Maru and tripped him down. Chiyotaikai moved quickly from one side to another to confuse Akebono. In the end, the ozeki droved down the big Hawaiian. It's Akebono's first loss. Blue cushions were thrown high towards the ring by the audience.
With the only spotlight now on Akebono, it was to be seen if he would win today to clinch the Emperor's Cup. His challenger was new ozeki Miyabiyama. Akebono was about to lose his balance but withheld and drove the new ozeki out. With his 13th straight win, Akebono's Emperor Cup victory was ensured. He was in tears and biting his lips. It's Akebono's 10th tourney title, but it's been long since his last which was in the summer of 1997. The bad news is that Miyabiyama, with this loss marked a majority loss. That mean's the next tourney he will be positioned "kadoban" like his stable mate Musoyama was. Musoyama by the way lost again his 10th loss. Dejima also lost. Chiyotaikai was the only ozeki to win. He drove out the big Musashimaru.
The results of the day make it seem that there is no longer anyone capable of competing with Akebono for the Emperor's cup. Takamisakai lost and so did Chiyotaikai. Chiyo did not have a good start against Dejima and was out the ring backwards. Akebono drove out Oginishiki to be the sole person capable of clinching a tourney victory.
French President Jacques Chirac who arrived in Tokyo in the morning for a pre Okinawa Summit meeting was took his seat at the Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium from as early as the juryo division bouts. Mr. Chirac who is known as an avid sumo fan watched all the bouts intently. In addition, he presented to Japan Sumo Association chairman Tokitsukaze a Jacques Chirac trophy to be given to the tourney champ from now on. Takamisakari won again shoving down Kinkaiyama for his 9th win. Takanonami pushed forward but was pushed back by Tamakasuga succumbing to his 7th loss. Kaio drove out Tochiazuma enabling him to keep his hope to clinch ozeki ranking. Miyabiyama managed to defeat Higonoumi for his 5th win. Chiyotaikai swung Tochinohana out and gained his 9th win. Now, Musoyama who cannot any more bouts to keep his ozeki status faced his long time rival Tosanoumi. They clashed against eachother, than Tosa pulled back and the ozeki dropped. Musoyama will be demoted next tourney. Dejima and Oginishiki both were trying to force either out by the arm, and in the end, succeeded. Akebono's long arms stretched forward, thrusting Wakanoyama 3 times to get him out. Musashimaru took out Hayateumi to secure his majority win. So Akebono keeps the lead, followed by his stablemate Takamisakari and ozeki Chiyotaikai,
Newcomer Takamisakari continues to do well. He clinched his 8th win by driving out the big Kotonowaka. Tochiazuma constantly raced forward while Takanonami tried to flee away. In the end Takanonami had his back toward Tochiazuma and was pushed out. This loss has erased all hope for Takanonami to regain ozeki ranking. There are further negative results. Kaio lost to Tochinohana raising his loss record to 4. His chance for promotion is now slim. Musoyama was beaten by Tamakasuga who has not won any bout so far. If Musoyama succumbs to another loss, he will be demoted next tourney. His stablemate Miyabiyama lost too taking his 6th loss in a fight against Hayateumi. Those top rankers who did their duty were Chiyotaikai by thrusting out Akinoshima, Dejima who shoved out Tosanoumi, and both Hawaiian born yokozuna. Musashimaru walked out Oginishiki for his 7th win. Akebono collected his 10th win with a push out applied to Tohki.
Takanonami appeared to have been on the verge of forcing Oginishiki out but at the edge of the ring, the scene was turned around and the former ozeki succumbed to his 5th loss. He must win 10 bouts in order to regain ozeki ranking. For most ozeki, it was a terrible day. Musoyama lost his 6th bout to Tochinohana. 2 more loss will cost him his ozeki post. Takanosato shifted to the side as the bout took off. Miyabiyama who charged forward low was shoved down. All eye were on how Kaio would tackle Chiyotaikai. But the ozeki did not give him a chance. As Kaio blasted forward, Chiyo moved away and got Kaio off balance. It was not what fans wanted to see. Dejima was pushed Akebono hard on the verge of the ring, but the yokozuna withstood and in the end pushed down the ozeki. Musashimaru fought carefully this time and thrust Tamakasuga out. It's the Hawaiian born's 4th win while Tamakasuga has not won a bout yet. Akebono, as a result leads with a perfect win. There is no longer anybody with 2 losses.
Sad news. Takanohana decided to pull out from this tourney. It was learned that he hurt his arm while fighting Tosanoumi the 5th day. The previous day's bout worsened his condition. Chiyotaikai automatically picked up a win because of this. In the day's bout, Tohki attacked Takanonami's throat, pulled back and thrust him down. Dejima charged forward quicker than Kaio, but Kaio stopped him and slightly lift up the ozeki, dropped him outside the ring. Miyabiyama thrust Oginishiki from the side to win only his 4th bout. For Akebono fighting against Musoyama was a breeze. He took out the ozeki to be the only one to secure a majority win. On the contrary, the other Hawaiian born yokozuna was beaten by Tochiazuma. Musashimaru is down with 3 losses.
Takanonami this time got back into his bad habit of placing his arms around the shoulders of his opponent. But Tochinohana got the former ozeki's belt and forced him out. Miyabiyama faced defeat before Tohki. Chiyotaikai gave thrusts non-stop. Musoyama could not find a chance to fight back and was pulled down. Dejima drove out Takanowaka quickly. Musashimaru too won by taking out Tochinonada. Kaio faced Takanohana. He did not have a good start and the yokozuna was taking the lead in pushing him. But then Kaio got a better postion and threw the yokozuna on the ring. It was an exciting upset. In the final bout, Akebono beat Tamakasuga to extend his winning streak.
The bout sumo fans were waiting for was not necessary the upper ranking one. But it was in the juryo division between saltshaker Mitoizumi and the good looking Terao. Terao attacked Mitoizumi but soon they grabbed for eachother's belt. Terao managed to swing the big guy down the ring. Now, in the highest makuuchi division. Kaio beat Tamakasuga for his 4th win. Chiyotaikai this time thrust Tochiazuma with fervor to win. Musoyama too fought quickly to defeat Asanowaka. Dejima overwhelmed Tochinonada. But Miyabiyama was taken out by Tosanoumi facing his 3rd loss. Takanohana drove out Takanowaka. ] Akebono gave a big push which drove Tochinohana tumbling down the ring. A major upset was witnessed at the very end. Takanonami who's demoted to sekiwake was not fighting Musashimaru from a good position. But while both lost balance, the former ozeki kept his determination and defeated the yokozuna with an underarm throw. Fans threw their blue cushions toward the ring in response to the upset.
Takamisakari lost his first bout in the makuuchi division. In the higher ranks, Takanonami and Musoyama clashed, then Takanonami pulled back, put his hand behind Musoyama's neck and pushed him down. Musoyama is down to 3 losses. Akinoshima gave Dejima a hard time but the ozeki managed to drive out the veteran rikishi for his 4th win. Miyabiyama pushed than pulled back from Tochinonada to win. Chiyotaikai and Takanowaka took off to fight. Suddenly, Chiyo stopped fighting, and Takanowaka pushed him out. The audience was dumbfolded at the event. Kaio faced the great big yokozuna. Akebono easily took him out for his 5th win. Kaio is down to 2 losses. Other yokozuna won. Musashimaru to Tohki and Takanohana to Tosanoumi. Akebono is now the only one without a loss.
Kaio was not moving well, but seeing Tosanoumi charging toward him, he shifted to put Tosa down. Dejima walked out Takanonami also for his 3rd win. Tochinohana slipped and touched the ring which gave Miyabiyama his 2nd win. Chiyotaikai pushed down Tamakasuga. Musoyama was the only top ranker to lose. Akinoshima drove him out. Musashimaru gave effective thrust toward Takanowaka. Takanohana shoved Tohki down. Akebono quickly thrust out Tochiazuma to keep his winning streak. Takamisakari who's Akebono's stable mate is the only other with a perfect record.
There were just too many upsets. The top candidate to win this tourney, Kaio faced Takanonami who's been demoted to sekiwake. Takanonami hooked his arm over Kaio's shoulder and forced him out. They are both with 2 wins and a loss. Miyabiyama won for the first time as ozeki defeating Tamakasuga. Chiyotaikai pushed down Tosanoumi for his 2nd win. Musoyama too, against Takanowaka. Dejima, however was thrust down by Tohki. Tochiazuma who's in great shape proved it by shoving down Takanohana. Akebono by taking out Akinoshima became the only one in the top 2 ranking to keep his record clean. Musashimaru won his 2nd bout by driving out Tochinohana.
Newcomers to the makuuchi division, American Sentoryu and Takamisakari both clinched their 2nd win. In the top rankings--Chiyotaikai this time dashed towards Tohki and pushed him out for his 1st win. Kaio this time faced Musoyama. They both tried to get eachothers' belts and in the end, Kaio with his right hand took the ozeki out. Dejima shoved out Tamakasuga for his 2nd win. Akinoshima fought a skilled bout. He threw down new ozeki Miyabiyama. Akebono constantly attacked Takanonami's throat to win. Musashimaru was aggressively shoving Tosanoumi but Tosanoumi went around the edge of the ring, getting the Hawaiian born off balance. Tochinohana gave Takanohana a hard time getting his belt, but the yokozuna ended up winning with an overarm throw.
Chairman of the Japan Sumo Association, Tokitsukaze in his greeting to sumo fans mourned the death of Empress Dowager Nagako in June. But he was delighted to have all 3 yokozuna and 4 ozeki in shape to fight. In the juryo division, Terao was fighting for the first time in 15 years. He faced Daishi. The veteran attacked but pulled back too soon. Kotonishiki was back from his injury and was also in juryo, but lost as well. Takamisakari was promoted to the highest makuuchi division. He's only the second makuuchi contestant after Akebono from the Azumazeki stable run by the Hawaiian born who fought under the name Takamiyama. He celebrated his first day by defeating Tokitsuumi to an overarm throw. The one in the spotlight is no doubt, last tourney champion Kaio. Kaio shoved Takanowaka so powerfully that the opponent slipped on his own and fell. Musoyama fought as ozeki for the first time and pushed out Tohki. It was also the first bout for Miyabiyama as ozeki but he succumbed to Tochiazuma's right hand thrust. Dejima drove out Tochinohana. Chiyotaikai faced Takanonami who has been demoted from ozeki. Takanonami held on and in the end, pushed Chiyotaikai down on his belly. Yokozuna Musashimaru was back weighing 230 kilos. He managed to drive out Akinoshima. Takanohana quietly took out Tamakasuga while Akebono pushed Tosanoumi.
Pre Tourney highlights
Kaio will try for ozeki
Kaio has a chance to clinch ozeki ranking if he does well this tourney. It's his 7th try for the 2nd highest ranking in sumo.
Musoyama ready to fight as ozeki
Musoyama has not yet fought as ozeki because he missed the last tourney. He's taking part as an ozeki on the ridge. That means if he finishes with a majority loss, he will be demoted.
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