Asashoryu is promoted ozeki
Messengers visited Asashoryu at his stable in Nagoya on July 24 at 10 in the morning. He was officially told of his promotion to ozeki. He's accepted it, and became the first Mongolian to reach the rank. What's even great is that he won the rank in 22 basho or tourneys which is a record exceeding that of Akebono's. He and his stable master Takasago plans to visit Montolian next month to report his promotion.
EMPEROR'S CUP WINNER: CHIYOTAIKAI
Outstanding Performance Award: Asashoryu, Tosanoumi
Outstanding Technique Award: Takamisakari
Fighting Spirit Award: Shimotori
Takanonami slapped Tamanoshima as he faced off and slightly lifts his opponent, in the end driving him out. The former ozeki recorded 9 wins 6 losses. Tamanoshima was 11 to 4. Kotomitsuki faced a push out by Buyuzan to finish the tourney with a majority loss of 7 wins 8 losses. Takamisakari was slow to stand and was taken out by Tokitsuumi. Miyabiyama drove out Tosanoumi for his 7th win. Asashoryu had to win this bout to keep himself still an Emperor's Cup candidate. But surprisingly Wakanosato got hold of the Mongolian's belt and thrust him down. Asashoryu tumbled on the ring. He looked dumbfolded. However, he still has a chance to be promoted to be ozeki for the next tourney. As a result of the loss, however, Chiyotaikai secured his victory even before the bout against the yokozuna. And in the final bout, Chiyotaikai stood up, slighly got to the side of Musashimaru and shoved the heavy Hawaiian born out. Chiyotaikai clinched the Emperor's Cup with 14 wins. It's his 2nd crown and only his 2nd since becoming ozeki. He's been ozeki for 21 tourneys now. It was later learned that Musashimaru had faced consecutive loss as he's been having neck problems.
Kotomitsuki got his record even by pushing down Wakanosato. Chiyotaikai was in total control, easily thrusting out Shimotori. Chiyo's Emperor Cup victory would be secured if Asashoryu lost, but the Mongolian drove out Musashimaru. Blue cushions for the 3rd straight day were aimed at the ring. This bout, by the way attracted 21 sponsored banners. It's the most number since 1993. Asashoryu as a result pocketed 630,000 yen from the win. Chiyotaikai still leads with 13 wins while Asashoryu follows with 12 wins. Musashimaru has no chance of winning anymore.
2 more top rankers stepped out. They're Aogiyama and Kaiho. Both due to leg injuries. The total number of those out of this tourney reached 16. In the bouts, Miyabiyama tried to force out Hokutoriki, but the his back belt was taken and was driven out. The former ozeki faced a majority loss. Another former ozeki, Takanonami lost to Wakanosato's throw. Chiyotaikai thrusts did not work against Asashoryu in the beginning. But Chiyo got the Mongolian slightly off balance, and in the end pushed the opponent down. In laar vour, Musahimaru performed poorly again. Up and coming Shimotori got the yokozuna's belt to drive him out. Chiyotaikai is now the sole leader, followed by Asashoryu. Musashimaru is 3rd place.
Unexpectedly, Musashimaru was slapped down by Wakanosato. Blue cushions were thrown by the spectators in reaction to the upset. Meanwhile, Chiyotaikai defeated Hokutoriki with an overarm throw. Asahyoryu forced out Kyokutenho. So Chiyotaikai and Asashoryu marked 11-1, but Musashimaru dropped from the top with a 10-3.
Kotonowaka pulled out from this day as he hurt his knee badly in the previous day's bout. So the number of sekitori out this tourney was increased to 14. However, Tochisakae was back on the ring and he defeated Tohki. Takanonami lost this time to Shimotori and succumbed to his 3rd loss. Miyabiyama drove out Kotomitsuki. Both marked 4-7. Kaiho tried to fight against Asashoryu's attacks by in the end, the Mongolian won with an overhand throw. Chiyotaikai pushed all the way this time and defeated Wakanosato. Up and coming Hokutoriki attacked the yokozuna. But Musashimaru with his right walked him out. The 3 top contender remain unchanged.
Another high ranking rikishi was reported out of the tourney. It's Tamakasuga. Making the number of sekitori to 13. But the good news is Tochisakae will be back on the ring on the 11th day. In the main bouts, Takamisakari with an underarm throw dropped Kyokutenho. The Mongolian could not get up for awhile. Miyabiyama with his right, threw down Tochinonada to prevent a majority loss. One of the leaders, Asashoryu faced Takanonami. Asashoryu got the former ozeki's belt, and Takanonami too got his arms wrapped around the Mongolian. Takanonami got his weight on Asashoryu to push him down. Asashoryu succumbed to his first loss. It's reported that Asashoryu was angry with the ruling because Takanonami's foot was clearly out of the ring before Asashoryu's fall. Chiyotaikai gave thrust, but seeing that they were not driving Tosanoumi out, he pulled back and lost. Musashimaru pushed out Kotomitsuki. So Musashimaru with Asashoryu and Chiyotaikai are tied for the lead.
Kotomitsuki lost again, this time to Aogiyama's thrusts. Its his 5th loss. Takamisakari pushed down Tosanoumi for his 5th win. Asashoryu gave the aggressive Miyabiyama several slaps to win and stay unbeatened. Chiyotaikai gave rather slow thrust this time towards Takanonami to win. Musashimaru was practically falling and pushing out Tohki at the same time. But a win is a win.
Shimotori and Kotomitsuki who's fought many times during their collegiate years faced eachother for the first time since turning pro. The verdict went to Shimotori who took out his opponent for his 5th win. Miyabiyama turned his back to Takamisakari and was driven out. The former ozeki is down with his 6th loss, while Takamisakari's record is even. Asashoryu pushed out Aminishiki to clinch a majority win. So did Chiyotaikai too, with thrusts defeat Kaiho. Musashimaru and Takanonami was matched for the 55th time. Both advanced to ozeki at the same time years ago. But now, ranked far apart, Musashimaru proved it by driving the former ozeki out. Both are with 7 wins and a loss as a result.
The gymnasium recorded a sell out crowd, but they were not without frustration. That's because it was learned that another top ranker had pulled out. It's maegashira no. 10 Tochisakae. But there were exciting bouts. Takanonami had to redo a bout. The 2nd time round he made his power clear by defeating Takanowaka to an overarm throw. Miyabiyama lost again. It's to Wakanosato to take his 5th loss. Kotomitsuki struggled in a bout against Asashoryu. The Mongolian did not stop moving and eventually pushed his opponent down to improve his win to 7. Chiyotaikai gave thrusts and pushed out Aminishiki also to keep his record clean. Musashimaru at the edge of the ring threw down Kaiho. The yokozuna is 6 to 1.
Kotomitsuki fell on his knee in a competitive bout against Kyokutenho. Takanonami continues to keep his record clean by squeezing Aminishiki's arm and taking him out. Kyokushuzan pulled back losing to Miyabiyama. Another Mongolian Asashoryu slapped Takamisakari hard. And took the up and coming rikishi out to extend his winning streak. Chiyotaikai pushed out Takanowaka also to improve his record. Musashimaru and Kotonowaka got eachother's belt and did not move for a little while. But the yokozuna played his skill driving his opponent down. It's his 5th win.
Takanonami walked out Hayateumi for his 5th win. Kotomitsuki pushed out Tochisakae to win his 4th bout. Dejima pulled out, as a result of injuring his thigh the previous day. Miyabiyama at last won by defeating Kotonowaka. Asashoryu was pushed towards the edge of the ring, but withstood Tosanoumi's pressure, and pushed Tosa down. Tochiazuma was not present. He broke his arm the day before, thus unable to fight anymore this tourney. Chiyotaikai stood up and immediately moved to the side. Tochinonada fell. Musashimaru was shoved towards the edge of the ring by Takanowaka. He wrapped his left leg around Takanowaka to prevent a push out loss. And this action proved effective. Maru in the end drove his opponent out.
Takanonami tried to get his arm wrapped around Wakanoyama. Then pulled back and thrust down his opponent. The former ozeki has a perfect record so far. Kotomitsuki was getting pushed, but he got Kaiho's arm and managed to throw him out. Dejima clashed into Tosanoumi, and kept his head low. But it was too low that while Tosa kept his one feet on the ring and the other up, the former ozeki went down. It's Dejima's 2nd loss. Asashoryu gave one big push to defeat Kotonowaka. The Mongolian's record is clean. Takanowaka with his right took out Tochiazuma. Both at 3 to 1. Takamisakari who was matched up with Kaio was automatically given a win since the ozeki decided to pull out from the tourney due to an injured left shoulder. Chiyotaikai gave Miyabiyama thrusts and with a powerful thrust at the throat pushed the former ozeki down. Musashimaru went forward, but Tochinonada with his right pushed the yokozuna. Maru tumbled down the ring. The audience threw blue cushions toward the ring in response to the upset.
Miyabiyama clased against Aminishiki but fell. It's his 3rd loss. Asashoryu powerfully swung down Tochinonada to earn his 3rd win. Chiyotaikai attacked and Takamisakari could not resist the pressure, and fell on his knee. Kaio did not use his left hand at all. He tried to withstand Tosanoumi's thrust nevertheless, and failed. Kaio faced his 3rd loss. Tochiazuma thrust down former ozeki Dejima. Kyokushuzan tried to pull Musashimaru's arm, but it was not an effective move. The yokoauna pushed the Mongolian wrestler down.
Kotomitsuki was tightly snatched under Takanonami's arm and thrown out. Asashoryu took out Takanowaka. Kaio was even more bandaged than the previous day. But he faced Dejima. Dejim won with a push out by at the same time fell. Miyabiyama gave thrusts. But Tochiazumo took him off balance and pushed Miyabiyama out from behind. Chiyotaikai had a confident push out over Kyokushuzan. Takamisakari, alias RoboCop tried to stand fast and clash into Musashimaru. But it didn't really do much to the yokozuna. Maru won.
The top 2 division took off with 8 rikishi out. Still, there was a sell out crowd. Takanonami swung Kyokutenho out to win. Kotomitsuki's back on the ring,after pulling out last tourney due to a broken chin bone. He faced Tohki who attacked his poor chin. But Kotomitsuki, slowly but surely went forward and pushed his opponent out. Miyabiyama was pushed out by Takanowaka. Dejima charged forward fast, and took out Wakanosato. Asashoryu was on the ring with a portion of his hair gone. It's reported that someone pulled his hair out during practice. At any rate, he defeated his countryman Kyokushuzan to win. Tochiazuma went forward with his head down and drove out Takamisakari. Chiyotaika banged into Kotonowaka and won with a quick push out. Kaio's left shoulder was tightly bandaged. It's reported that he hurt himself bad during a pre tourney competition. He did not practice on the ring at all before this tourney. It was clear he tried to fight with only his right hand, and attempted to throw Tochinonada, but failed. Kaio fell on his hurt shoulder and gave a painful look. Musashimaru did not give Tochinonada any chance to fight. .
Pre Tourney highlights
Takanohana pulls out again
It was learned on July 4 that Takanohana's stable master and father Futagoyama conveyed to the chairman of the Japan Sumo Association Kitanoumi that his son was pulling out. This means Taka will miss a grand tourney for the 7th time.
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