Takanohana elated with his performance in Nagoya
Takanohana, even though he lost to Akebono on the final day was all smiles during the champion's motorcade, which takes place immediately after the tourney ends. During the press conference held early on July 20, Taka said that he actually seriously thought about retiring, because he could not control his body like he did before falling ill to a liver disorder.
Michiyo's Note: Rarely does Takanohana smile so brightly in front of TV cameras while speaking about his performance in a 15-day grand sumo tournament. He must have been super happy with the results.
EMPEROR'S CUP WINNER: TAKANOHANA
Fighting Spirit Award: Kotonowaka
Outstanding Performance Award: Dejima
Outstanding Technique Award: Chiyotaikai
Takanonami was beaten by Chiyotaikai this time. The ozeki finished the tourney with 9 wins 6 losses. Chiyotaikai had an outstanding record as a sekiwake with 11 wins 4 losses. Wakanohana lost again on the final day. He was pushed out by Musashimaru. Waka's first tourney as a yokozuna ended with 10 wins 5 losses. His younger brother lost too--that's for the first time this tourney. Akebono attacked Takanohana fiercely and drove him out. Akebono clinched his 11th win against 4 losses.
Kotonowaka and ozeki Takanonami who are both over 190 cm. and rather similar in physique had a close bout. They held eachother's belt with one hand and dropped on the ring almost at the same time. But the win went to Kotonowaka for his 11th win against 3 losses. Akebono's long arm attacked Wakanohana fiercely. Waka was helpless, and his foot went out the ring. Both yokozuna are with 10 wins 4 losses. Now it was all up to the final bout of the day on whether Musashimaru will keep his chance to win the Emperor's Cup alive. He couldn't. That's because, he fell forward when Takanohana move slightly back soon after the fight took off. Takanohana secured his 19th crown without having to fight the final day of the tournament.
Michiyo's Note: It's good to see Taka back in shape, but then, he'll be dominating the tourney title again, making sumo quite predictable.
Mongolian Kyokushuzan marked his 8th win, securing his promotion in the next tournament. In the champion class bouts, Musashimaru beat Tochiazuma barely. Both had strong grip of eachother's belt, and fell together, except Maru's feet were still inside the ring while their bodies were on the fall. Wakanohana moved intricately against Kotonowaka and in the end thrusted him out. His younger brother Takanohana had a quick bout. Chiyotaikai attacked the yokozuna with thrusts, but as Taka pulled back, Chiyo lost his balance and fell on his right knee. Akebono took ozeki Takanonami out by the belt. Takanohana remains undefeated. Musashimaru is the only other rikishi with the possibility to win the Emperor's Cup with 11 wins 2 losses.
The upper ranks were in a total mess except for Takanohana who took Kotonowaka out the ring. Ozeki Takanonami succumbed to a quick lost. Dejima got under him and drove him out. The 2 big Hawaiian born ozeki and yokozuna clashed against eachother. Akebono's thrust was not effective. Maru got the yokozuna from his right and hurled him down. Akebono lost his 3rd bout in a row. Wakanohana lost a fast fight to Chiyotaikai. Chiyotaikai gave non-stop thrusts. As a result of the bouts this day, Takanohana heads with a clean record. The group that follows him has 2 losses each. They are Musashimaru and Kotonowaka. With 3 losses are Wakanohana, Takanonami and Chiyotaikai.
Kotonowaka won again, and swiftly--this time to new makuuchi rikishi, Kinkaiyama. Bad news for Terao fans. This Hercules looking guy lost to Dewaarashi. This means, he has a majority loss record, or 3 to 8. The 2 ozeki fought against eachother, Musashimaru appeared a little foolish. He clashed into Takanonami as the bout started. Takanonami got hold of Maru's right arm from the side and drove him out. So both are tied with 2 losses along with Wakanohana. Yokozuna Akebono lost again. Another young up and coming rikishi, Tochiazuma was the one to defeat him to a push out. Akebono is down to 8 wins 3 losses. Takanohana is still invincible. So it is Taka leading, followed by Kotonowaka.
Kotonowaka is breaking his own winning streak record. He toppled Asahiyutaka to an overarm throw which earned him his 9th straight victory. Another still with one loss, Musashimaru easily pushed out Tochinowaka. However, Akebono, who had the final bout of the day was thrusted out the ring by Dejima. It's Dejima's second victory over a yokozuna this tourney. As a result of the bout, Akebono is down to 2 losses dropping to the 3rd group. On top is Takanohana who is the only one with a clean record, followed by Musashimaru and Kotonowaka with a loss each.
Takanohana and those with one loss have all accummulated another win. The bout of the day was no doubt, the one between Musoyama and Chiyotaikai. Musoyama gave your average sumo thrusts. Chiyotaikai came back with a strong slap. That set Musoyama on fire, and from there on, the bout was comparable to a boxing match. They'd watch eachother's move with fists in a fighting position. Chiyotaikai got too carried away. Musoyama blew him out for his 4th with. Chiyotaikai is down to 6 wins 3 losses.
The good looking Kotonowaka, marked his 500th career win in the bout against Dewaarashi. He is doing well this tourney, and is keeping his position among the runner up group with only one loss. Musashimaru moved forward with his thrusts. But Chiyotaikai pulled the ozeki's head and sent him out. Maru faced his first defeat, and Chiyotaikai is with 6 wins and 2 losses. All yokozuna won this time. Akebono is still tied for second place. Takanohana is the only one with a perfect performance He swiftly beat Dejima who took his 2nd loss.
The two sumo hopes, Tochiazuma and Dejima faced eachother. Dejima, took control of the bout, and easily pushed out Tochiazuma for his 6th win. Tochiazuma is down to 5 wins 2 losses. Ozeki Takanonami tried to carry Shikishima out of the ring, but instead, he was thrown down. Takanonami took his 2nd loss. Wakanohana moved to the side to confuse Tochinonada in the beginning. The yokozuna was not successful in gaining a favorable position. Waka fell on his back for his 2nd straight loss. It was Tochinonada's 1st win this tourney. The other 2 yokozuna were victorious. Musashimaru and Takanohana are still without a defeat. Only 3 are with one loss. They are Dejima, Kotonowaka and Akebono.
Shikishima was matched up with Takanohana whom he has defeated in 2 tourneys in a row. Takanohana obviously was determined not to lose again and gave Shikishima an intimidating look. Takanohana fortunately took the opponent out this time. For his elder brother, it was not a good day. The newly promoted yokozuna fell flat on his stomach after Dejima pulled him down in a quick bout. Wakanohana succumbed to his first loss. So Musashimaru and Takanohana are the only two who are unbeaten. 8 rikishi follow with one loss each. Among them are Akebono and Takanonami.
Up and coming Tochiazuma faced the aggressive Takatohriki. Takatohriki's thrusts effectively shoved Tochizauma out the ring giving him his first loss. Chiyotaikai too was defeated the first time this tourney. Kaio threw him on the ring. For Kaio, its only his first win. The ozeki and yokozuna all won again. There are only 3 with perfect wins after the end of the day.
There were no surprises in the ozeki and yokozuna rankings this day.
Michiyo's Note: I had a busy evening of wining and dining, so I couldn't watch sumo. That's why the result of this day is sparse.
The sellout crowd did not get a chance to see Wakanohana fight. That's because, his opponent decided to take the day off. Kotonishiki hurt the muscle behind the right thigh quite severely the previous day. The pain failed to ease. So the newly promoted grand champion, with noone there to fight, was automatically given a win. Other yokozuna won their bouts, and the 2 ozeki did too. By the way, Terao has become the number 3 sekitori in the total bouts fought in the highest makunouchi division this day, surpassing Ohzutsu's 1170 bouts. But he lost to Tamakasuga, therefore unable to celebrate the day with real happiness.
Tochiazuma won a strong bout again, this time, shoving out Higonoumi. Another up and coming wrestler Dejima pushed out Kaio who made a mistake move of pulling back. There were upsets in the highest rankings. Ozeki Takanonami fell to Musoyama's overarm throw. Musashimaru had a tough bout against Tochinonada. He was eventually able to win by attacking Tochinonada's face to drive him out in a bout which lasted 2 minutes 44 seconds. Takatohriki pulled yokozuna Akebono down on the ring. Takatohriki collected his 7th kinboshi (a bonus for upsetting a yokozuna which is added to his salary permanently) from Akebono. The number ties with the amount the former Takamiyama accummulated from Wajima. Both brother yokozuna defeated their opponents--Wakanohana beat Oginishiki, and Takanohana pushed down Kotonishiki. Kotonishiki grimaced with pain and limped off the ring after the bout.
For the first time in 7 years there are 3 yokozuna in a grand tourney. Wakanohana received great attention, due to the fact that he presented a solo ring entrance ceremony as a yokozuna for the first time in a grand tourney. His first official match as yokozuna was against Musoyama. The new yokozuna took off keeping his chin inward. He constantly changed his movements, and in the end took out Musoyama as a fullhouse looked on. Tochiazuma was back after skipping the entire Summer Tourney and most of the Spring Tourney by dislocating his right shoulder. He didn't show any need for further rehabilitation of his injury. He kept his head down and quickly drove out Hamanoshima. Both ozeki swiftly defeated their opponents as did yokozuna Akebono and Takanohana.
Pre Tourney highlights
Brothers are listed as yokozuna for the first time in history
The sumo rankings for the Nagoya tourney was officially distributed on June 22. Wakanohana is for the first time listed as yokozuna. He is in the east with Akebono while his younger brother Takanohana is ranked in the west.
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