EMPEROR'S CUP WINNER: DEJIMA
Fighting Spirit Award: Tosanoumi, Dejima
Outstanding Performance Award: Dejima
Outstanding Technique Award: Dejima
2 sad announcements were made. 37 year-old Tochinowaka who fought at maegashira number 9 and another veteran Kotoinazuma who was ranked in the juryo division both disclosed that they are retiring. But both will stay in the sumo world as coaches. Now in the bouts. When Dejima's turn to fight came, the spectators reacted with applause and cheers. And when the bout was about to start, they called out his name in unison. It's an atmosphere rare in sumo. Dejima took off to fight against Tochiazuma. He, however, was slightly slow to get up. But he managed to push him out. Now, Dejima had to wait for Akebono's result to see whether or not he will get a chance for a playoff. Kaio who was a ozeki hope hurled Takanonami down to clinch a majority when. He has at least been able to secure sekiwake post for the next tourney. Chiyotaikai thrusted Takanohana's throat. Takanohana tried not to move back. But in the end, he was down and out the ring. Taka fell on his right side. It was obvious he was protecting his injured left by not leaning against it nor using it to get back on his 2 feet. Chiyotakai finished the tourney 10 to 5, while Taka 9 to 6. As yokozuna, he probably has never ended 15 days with such few wins. Then the final bout of the tourney was on. It was between Hawaiian borns--Akebono and Musashimaru. They clashed against eachother. Akebono, however, could not move swifly after that. As a matter of fact, he lost balance and Maru drove him down. Akebono faced his 2nd loss, tying with Dejima. Maru was able to help his stablemate, Dejima go into playoff with Akebono. The crowd was indeed overjoyed that they could see Dejima fight again--this time, for the Emperor's Cup. The audience roared Dejima's name again as he came up to the ring. Dejima charged toward Akebono and quicky shifted to the side. Akebono was then taken to the edge of the ring. Dejima shoved and took the great big yokozuna out. The crowd threw blue cushions with excitement over Dejima's marvelous performance. Dejima was already unofficially approved a promotion to ozeki with his 12th win the previous day. On top of that, he was able to win the Emperor's Cup for the first time. And he was given all 3 awards. Dejima was in tears as he returned to the dressing room to clean himself up for the champion's ceremony.
Michiyo's Note: Before the start of the tourney, most eyes were on Kaio instead of Dejima as the top contestant for the ozeki title. What a twist of fate.
Dejima ran into Minatofuji, and threw him out the ring. Dejima has for the first time clinched 12 wins in the makuuchi division. Kaio is in good shape towards the end of the tourney. The once ozeki hope shoved down ozeki, Chiyotaikai for an even record of 7-7. Meanwhile Chiyotaikai is 9 to 5. Takanohana was not able to give out his best because of his hand injury. Akebono gave thrusts. Takanohana simply backed off and in the end pushed out. Takanonami lost again. This time he was walked out by Musashimaru, The top 2 contestants remain to be Akebono, followed by Dejima.
Popular long time wrestler Terao pulled back and tried to push Kaiho down. He, in the meantime, had one leg up in the air, and tried to keep that balance with one foot barely inside the ring. Terao secured a majority win. Kaio went against Miyabiyama. He was able to take the college graduate out for his 6th win. Takanonami and Dejima clashed into eachother. Rather than the current ozeki, the ozeki hope pushed stronger. Takanonami was pushed down the ring. He is down to 9-4 while Dejima continues to improve his record 11 to 2. Takanohana who is reported to be fighting with a broken index finger was very weak in front of Musashimaru. The veteran yokozuna tried to shift motion in the take off, but failed to fool Maru. Takanohana was easily walked out. Chiyotaikai went into Akebono. It was not effective enough. But boy, Akebono's shoves were. Chiyotaikai was driven out the ring. Akebono still leads with only 1 loss, followed by Dejima with 2 losses, and Musashimaru with 3.
The big, goodlooking Kotonowaka, at maegashira number 10 clinched a majority win by taking Tamakasuga out by the belt. Dejima quickly pushed Mongolian, Kyokushuzan out. Kaio and Akinoshima were at eachother's belt. In the end, Kaio threw Akinoshima. Musoyama appears strong and back in shape. He proved it by hurling the big tall Takanonami onto the ring. The ozeki is down to 4 losses. Chiyotaikai took Minatofuji by his head and pushed him down. Musashimaru had a close bout with Tochiazuma. The point was whether Tochiazuma's heel was out first or not, but it was confirmed that it was. Akebono shoved down Miyabiyama to keep the lead. However, Takanohana was totally helpless. Tosanoumi charged at him, and the yokozuna could not do anything but back off and he went down.
The 2 who were regarded as the next ozeki faced eachother. Kaio is no more a candidate because of his poor record so far. But in this bout Kaio shoved Dejima's head down to win. Kaio is 4 to 7, while Dejima 9 to 2. The current ozeki were matched up. Veteran ozeki Takanonami pulled back as Chiyotaikai pushed forward. Then Takanonami caught the young one and drove Chiyo out. Both are 8 to 3. Takatoriki tried to slap Akebono. He missed. And instead, Akebono pushed Takatoriki's back to rid him from the ring. Takanohana gave a powerful thrust to defeat Aogiyama. Minatofuji dropped forward giving Musashimaru a win. Maru marked a majority win in 53 grand tourneys in a row. Because Dejima lost, Akebono has become the sole leader followed by Takanohana and Dejima.
Tochinowaka is out from this day due to an injury. His opponent, Terao automatically won. Today's leading young wrestlers, Dejima and Chiyotaikai were matched up. Chiyo had a speedy start and he pushed forward non-stop. But Dejima meticulously pulled back and got Chiyo falling. It was a very close call, because Dejima dropped out of the ring too. Takanohana practiced a technique he hardly uses. He did not clash straight against Minatofuji, but went aside as the bout took off, and defeated his opponent to an overarm throw. Musashimaru finally won by shoving and taking out Higonoumi. Akebono drove out Kaio by attacking his throat. Kaio's record is down to 3 wins 7 losses. The leader is Akebono and Dejima with one loss each.
The rowdy Takatoriki clashed into Chiyotaikai then shoved, Chiyotaikai pulled back and it appeared that the ozeki lost, But Takatoriki was ruled to have gone down first. Chiyo secured his post as ozeki for the next tourney by clinching a majority win. Takatoriki is down to 7 losses. Kaio took aggressive movements against Musashimaru. He and Musashimaru went down the edge of the ring. The refree gave Maru the win. However, the judges claimed that Maru's hand touched the floor first. The win was given to Kaio. Akebono powerfully defeated ozeki Takanonami. Dejima charged towards Takanohana, and shoved the yokozuna out. Takanohana fell. The audience was excited to witness so many upsets. Leading with one loss is now down to Chiyotaikai, Dejima and Akebono.
Dejima quickly defeated Wakanosato for his 7th win. Tohki had his hand on Takanonami's throat all the way until the ozeki stepped out of the ring. This marked Tohki's first win this tourney. Takanonami is down to 2 losses. Akebono was not tricked by Tochiazuma's erratic movement. The Hawaiian born improved his record. Kaio was about to drive out Takanohana. Takanohana shifted to the side as he was leaving the ring. But Kaio dropped out too. The judges declared a retake. In the 2nd try, Takanohana walked Kaio out. Musashimaru and Chiyotaikai clashed against eachother. Chiyo shoved and shoved and in the end pushed the new yokozuna out. So Takanonami and Musashimaru failed to remain in the leading pack.
Wakanoyama faced his 1st loss. Kaio lost again. His 5th loss was against Tosanoumi. Chiyotaikai shoved Kotonishiki down with confidence. He seemed to be yelling with delight after the victory. Takanonami showed a technique he hardly uses. He twisted Tochiazuma down. Dejima pushed and shoved Akebono at the end of the ring. Akebono resisted. Dejima then pulled Akebono and threw him on the ring. It's the 5th straight time Akebono lost to Dejima. The crowd responded to the yokozuna's loss by hurling blue cushions all over the gymnasium. It was the first major upset in 4 days. Noone has a perfect record anymore. There is a whole pack leading the tourney.
Another loss for Kaio. He was taken out by Kotonishiki. His 4th loss is endangering his challenge to the ozeki post. Takanonami defeated Higonoumi. Chiyotaikai thrusted Tochiazuma out for his 5th win. Musashimaru drove out Takatoriki. Akebono again attacked his opponents throat for a tremendous victory. This time it was Tohki's. Takanohana pulled Chiyotenzan down on the ring. So for the 3rd straight day, all ozeki and yokozuna rankers won.
Kaio lost to Tochiazuma easily. He is down to 2 wins 3 losses. Chiyoitaikai appears to be gaining back power. He defeated Wakanosato to an overarm throw. All the other champion titled rikishi won their bouts. Among them, Akebono continues to keep a clean record. He took a consistent bout against Kotonishiki.
Kaio did not put an end to challenging the ozeki post. He defeated Chiyotenzan by pushing him down. Takanonami took hold of Miyabiyama's arms and took him out. Takanohana defeated Tohki to an overarm throw. Wakanosato at one point threatened Musashimaru with great skills, but Maru withheld. Maru was able to push Wakanosato down. Tosanoumi tried to bear the powerful throat attack by Akebono, but he could do no more than that. Tosanoumi succumbed to his first loss. It's the first time this tourney that all ozeki and yokozuna won.
It was not a fully packed day again. Musoyama who has so far not won, at last defeated Minatofuji by thrusting him on the ground. Tosanoumi pushed forward to beat Higonoumi for his 3rd win. Dejima also improved his record by pushing out Chiyotenzan. Kaio lost again. This time to Takatoriki. In the top rankings, Akinoshima and Musashimaru fought a bout that required thinking. Akinoshima tucked his head under Musashimaru's chin, and that position kept Maru from taking action. In the end, Akinoshima got hold of the front part of Maru's belt and dropped him on his belly. The new yokozuna lost his first bout. Other yokozuna won. Akebono's power was monstrously enormous. Wakanosato dropped off the ring.
For the first time in a decade, the tourney in Nagoya failed to attract a full crowd. Tickets were leftover. But there were great bouts. Tosanoumi was so focused on his thrust, Chiyotaikai could only back off. And his foot left the ring. It's Tosa's 2nd straight win against an ozeki. His victim the previous day--Takanonami won this time by carrying out Wakanosato. Akebono defeated Akinoshima quickly. Kotonishiki tried various tricks until he finally got hold of Takanohana's belt. He moved forward and pushed the yokozuna down. Musashimaru's power was overwhelming. The new yokozuna simply pushed forward. Chiyotenzan turned his back to Maru and was driven out.
For the first time in 8 years, sumo's grand tourney opened with 4 titled yokozuna. However, as you know Wakanohana did not make it this time. The yokozuna who is the main attraction is the newly promoted Musashimaru. He appeared somewhat tense, but was able to complete the entrance ceremony routine with Dejima and Musoyama at his side. He did make an error though. Kotonowaka changed the character in his name again for the 3rd time. It's basically to gain luck. And it did bring him luck at least on the first day. He threw down Tochinowaka. Musoyama was back after missing the entire tourney last time. He was, however, beaten by Tamakasuga. Kaio, as rumored, was in great shape. He took out Tohki. Chiyotaikai who was out last tourney and before that due to a broken nose was back. He is ranked ozeki, but if he gets a majority loss, he can lose the post. So he is in a desperate state. Wearing a wine color belt, he thrust down Akinoshima. Takanonami lost to Tosanoumi. Takanohana was back too. He took out the young up and coming Wakanosato. The new yokozuna face Kotonishiki. Musashimaru won quick. Finally, Akebono drove out Chiyotenzan. It may be too early to say so, but at this point, the tourney is filled with top rankers in great shape.
Pre Tourney highlights
Kaio is married
Kaio married a former pro wrestler on June 12. And with the support of his life partner, he will try out for the 6th time for the post of ozeki. Akebono is rumored to be in a pretty good shape. Wakanohana has decided to withdraw from the tourney on July 1 since his legs are not yet strong enough. But his brother will fight.
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