EMPEROR'S CUP WINNER: TOCHIAZUMA
Outstanding Performance Award: Buyuza
Outstanding Technique Award: Kotomitsuki
Fighting Spirit Award: None
It's the 5th time this tourney the house was packed. In the juryo division, Terao at last, looked to be in better shape. Sumanofuji gave him thrusts, but Terao slightly leaped to the side the threw his appalled opponent down. The popular rikishi finished with 5 wins 10 losses. In the highest division, Takanonami shoved down Tamakasuga's head to bring him down. The former ozeki clinched a majority win. Kyokushuzan pulled back while Dejima pushed forward and while falling, the Mongolian's foot left the ring. The two finished the tourney with 6 wins 9 losses. Kotomitsuki showed determination to move forward, pushing out Asashoryu. Kotomitsuki finished with 12 wins 3 losses and it was rumored that he may be promoted ozeki but the yokozuna council decided to put the decision on hold. And the highlight of this tourney. The bout between 2 ozeki who's been outstanding this time. Chiyotaikai starts off giving Tochiazuma fast paced thrusts. Tochiazuma however did not pull back. He just tried to bear them. Then Chiyo tried to get Tochiazuma off balance but in vane. Tochiazuma pushed out Chiyotaikai. As the top two tied for the lead, a playoff was scheduled after the final bout. In that last bout,by the way, Kaio pulled back to give Musoyama an easy win. Kaio finished with a 9 to 6, while Musoyama with 10 to 5. After a 10 minute break, the championship bout took place. Tochiazuma as soon as he stood, shifted to the side and thrust down Chiyotaikai. It's the first time in 33 years that a new ozeki had clinched the Emperor's Cup. He is on of the few now among the father-son tourney winner.
Takanonami drove down Kyokushuzan to bring his record to an even. Akinoshima got Dejima down on the ring. Both are with 5 wins 9 losses. One of the stars of this tourney, Kotomitsuki faced Buyuzan for the first time. The ozeki hope pushed forward, pulled back but uneffective so pushed again. But Buyuzan as he was shoved to the edge of the ring, shifted slightly to defeat Kotomitsuki. Kotomitsuki's chance to clinch the Emperor's Cup vanished. The leader Chiyotaikai had a head start over Kaio and pulled through. Musoyama pushed, but Tosanoumi got the opposing ozeki off balance and won with a push out. The winner of the tourney will be determined on the final day when Chiyotaikai and Tochizuma meet.
Dejima suffered a majority loss, taken out by Kyokutenho. Takanonami managed to roll Wakanosato out the ring to win. Kotomitsuki drove Tosanoumi down to earn his 11th bout. Musoyama pushed forward at first, but Chiyotaikai got his arm, shoved and won. Kaio was superb. He went forward against Tochiazuma and pushed him out. Chiyotaikai is sole leader now, with Tochiazuma and Kotomitsuki tied for runners up.
Chiyotaikai started off as always. With thrusts. But seeing that Tosanoumi was bearing them, Chiyo pulled back. That did it. And Chiyo clinched his 11th win. Musoyama continues to fight well. He drove out Tochinonada. Kaio went forward but was thrown down by Asashoryu. The ozeki is down with his 4th loss. The highlight of the day came last. And it was quite a bout. Both struggled to prevent eachother from getting the belt. Then Tochiazuma almost lost his balance when he slightly turned his back towards Kotomitsuki. He managed to turn around. But while they struggled, Tochiazuma fell on his hand. It's the new ozeki's first loss. Now Chiyotaikai ties with Tochiazuma to lead for the Emperor's Cup.
Takanonami seemed to be taking the lead midway, but was in the end taken out by Tamanoshima. 2 Mongolians faced eachother. And it was Asashoryu who beat his senior Kyokushuzan for his 6th win. Musoyama fought like an ozeki again pushing down Wakanosato to clinch a majority win. Kaio with his right slightly lifted Dejima and threw him on the ring also to secure his 8th win. Tochiazuma with skill and power drove out Kotonowaka. Chiyotaikai seemed careful with his thrusts this time, not to repeat the mistake he made the day before. He made sure that he was taking Kotomitsuki out that not only did Koto fall from the ring, Chiyo went down too. Tochiazuma remains the sole leader, followed by Chiyotaikai who has one loss.
In an aggressive bout, Tosanoumi thrust down Takanonami and clinched a majority win. Kotomitsuki was pressured towards the end of the ring. And he tried to keep inside with one foot, but was inevitably pushed out by Tochinonada. Chiyotenzan pulled out from the tourney as it was learned he broke his left heel the previous day. So Kaio who he was matched up with automatically earned a win. Tochiazuma clashed against Dejima. Dejima turned his side toward the new ozeki. And quickly Tochiazuma pushed out the former ozeki. Chiyotaikai gave thrusts, and tried to force one too hard, that he slipped and lost against Kaiho. Chiyo could not get up for a while. Musoyama seemed filled with energy as he immediately drove out Asashoryu with thrusts. It's his 7th win. Tochiazuma is now the only one who has not lost yet.
Dejima got his 2 hands around Kaiho and shoved him down for his 4th win. Tochiazuma had not problem winning. He went forward against Tohki and thrust him out. Chiyotaikai went straight at Takanonami after the 2nd start. Takanonami could not resist the ozeki's thrust and went out. Musoyama pushes Chiyotenzan around the ring, and although Chiyotenzan tried a tricky move, it did not fool the ozeki. Musoyama earned his 6th win. Kotomitsuki stepped forward quickly. Kaio tried to force throws. But as Kotomitsuki got a firm hold of his belt, managed to take the ozeki out. Kaio is down with his 3rd loss. 3 still lead with perfect records.
Chiyotenzan tried to throw Kotomitsuki, but it was not powerful enough that the bout ended with Kotomitsuki taking him out. Chiyotaikai with thrusts drove Dejima out. Musoyama managed to take out Takanonami. Both are 5 to 3. Kaiho struggled against Kaio. Kaio however got a grip of his opponent's belt with his right and toppled him. It's Kaio's 6th win. In the final bout, Tochiazuma was pushed toward the end of the ring. He withheld and instead drove Wakanosato out. All 3 leaders won and secured their majority win.
In front of a packed crowd, Dejima pushed forward to start but then pulled back, which Tamakasuga took advantage of. Dejima lost balance and fell. Takanonami did not stand to fight to match Asashoryu's start the first time. In the second start, it was clear Takanonami tried to dash forward quickly. He got his arm around the Mongolian's then forced him toward the right. At that moment, Asashoryu's left foot slightly went over the ring. So Takanonami collected his 5th win. Kotomitsuki and Kyokushuzan watched eachother's move carefully. And they decided to match their foreheads together for a while. It was Kotomitsuki who decided to take action first. He drove down the Mongolian for his 7th win. Musoyama gave a powerful throw to defeat Kaiho. The ozeki earned his 4th win. Tohki attacked Kaio's throat but it was not effective. Kaio on the other hand, went forward to drive Kaio out. Tochiazuma defeated Tamanoshimna. Chiyotaikai got hold of Kyokutenho's front belt to take him out. So far Kotomitsuki, Tochiazuma and Chiyotaikai lead.
Dejima got his record even after defeating Ootsukasa. Kotomitsuki and Wakanosato, both 25, fought a highly skillful bout. They both struggled to get a hold of eachother's belt. And then, the bout shifted more into action. Wakanosato fell back and then Kotomitsuki fell almost on top. It was Kotomitsuki's 6th win. Kaio was in charge. He went forward and pushed out Kyokushuzan for his 4th win. Takanonami appeared powerless. He just pulled back as Tochiazuma moved forward to push the former ozek out. Chiyotaikai gave thrusts and pushed out Tohki. Musoyama stepped forward, but perhaps too carelessly that Tamanoshima from his right drove the ozeki down. Musoyama is down to 3 losses. At this point, 3 rikishi lead with perfect records.
In the juryo division Terao at last won. He defeated Brazilian, Kuniazuma. Dejima went forward by was easily taken down by Chiyotenzan. It's his 3rd loss. Two rikishi with perfect records faced eachother. They had to restart the bout 4 times. When they took off, it appeared the Takanonami was in advantage. But in the end, Kotomitsuki took the former ozeki out. Tochiazuma continued to fight well. As he tried to shove, Kyokushuzan lost balance and fell. Chiyotaikai went ahead to push out Tamanoshima to keep his position in the leading pack. Musoyama managed to take out Kyokutenho. Kaio slowly threw Akinoshima to earn his 3rd win.
Dejima pushed out Kotonowaka to bring his record even. Kotomitsuki drove out Kyokutenho to win his 4th bout. Chiyotaikai held a quick bout again this time thrusting out Akinoshima. Musoyama turned his back towards his opponent first, then it was Kyokushuzan. It was the ozeki who clinched the bout. Kaio was powerless. He was beaten by Takanonami. Kaio faced his 2nd loss while Takanonami kept his record clean. As Musashimaru pulled out, Tochiazuma had the priveledge to fight the final bout. Asashoryu deliberately attacked his face. It was so fierce, the refree had to stop the bout so that Tochiazuma could clean his bloody face. It's an unusual halt. Then the 2 were back in the position they left off. Asashoryu aimed at Tochiazuma's face again, but the new ozeki managed to drive out the Mongolian.
Tosanoumi while giving a throw, held Dejima's head down. It's Tosa's 3rd win while Dejima's 2nd loss. Takanonami shifted his position near the end of the ring to defeat Takanowaka. Asashoryu turned his back toward Kaiho. But Kaiho fell first, so the win was giving to the Mongolian. Kotomitsuki went for Tohki's throat quickly and won. Musoyama at last clinched his first win by pushing out Akinoshima. Kaio got a good grip of Tamanoshima's belt and took him out. Kaio's shoulder was splashed with Tamanoshima's blood. Kyokutenho pulled back and Tochizuma pushed to win his 3rd bout. Chiyotaikai pulled back and shoved Wakanosato down. Kyokushuzan attacked the sole yokozuna's face, put Musashimaru off balance and took the yokozuna out. As a result the yokozuna decided to pull out from the tourney. It's reported that Musashimaru could not fight with his injured wrist.
This time, Dejima moved to the side to put Tochinonada. It's his first win. Another former ozeki won too. Takanonami was being pushed but he withstood and with his arms wrapped around Kyokutenho's shoulders shoved his opponent out. Kotomitsuki smashed into Akinoshima and took him out. Kaio and Wakanosato drove eachother out of the ring out the same time, according to the ruling by the judges. So the bout had to be taken again. However, Kaio's rear is not in good shape, and it was obvious when he was fighting for the second time. He was easily taken out by Wakanosato. Kaiho pulled back, and Tochiazuma was not fooled. He quickly pushed to win Asashoryu gave a shove to start the bout. It was ineffective. Chiyotaikai pushed back powerfully to win. Tohki with the sideburns, pulled back. That easily got Musoyama to lose his balance and fall. Musoyama has 2 losses already. Musashimaru tried to get Tamanoshima's belt. Although he could not, his pressure got Tamanoshima rolling on the ring.
In the juryo division, the popular Terao was back after missing the whole of last tourney. However he was pushed out by Takatoriki. The kokugikan attracted a full house. And among them, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. As the imperial couple was attending, all makuuchi wrestlers faced toward them and bowed as they were introduced one by one. Sentoryu from St. Louis Missouri was back in the top division, and beat Kitazakura by driving him down. Dejima banged toward Takanowaka, but was taken down. Chiyotenzan wrapped his leg around Takanonami and was about to shove out the former ozeki. But his left foot exceeded the ring. So Takanonami was given a win. Asashoryu gave thrusts to push out Tamanoshima. Tosanoumi thrust down Akinoshima for his first victory as ozeki. Chiyotenzan was back. He's kadoban ozeki, meaning he will be demoted from ozeki ranking if he does not win at least 8 bouts. Chiyo got Kyukushuzan and swung him around and dropped the Mongolian. Musoyama moved forward, and Kotomitsuki as he moved back shoved down the ozeki's head. That effectively got the ozeki down. Kaio forced a throw twice, and then Kyokutenho suddenly dropped on his bottom. Musashimaru could not get Wakanosato's belt at all. The yokozuna tried to bear Wakanosato's shoves, but his left leg went out of the ring.
Pre Tourney highlights
Takanohana pulls out again
It was officially confirmed on Jan 11 that Takanohana will not fight this tourney either. It's the 4th straight tourney he is missing. He's tie with the record held by former yokozuna Onokuni in 1990 He said that he'd like to concentrate on rehabilitatin his injured leg. Besides Takanohana, Miyabiyama reported earlier his withdrawal. Now the spotlight this time appears to be on new ozeki Tochiazuma.
Musashimaru vs committee member
Musashimaru did not attend the official practice session held Ryogoku Kokugikan due to an injury. He, however,is reported to have gone to see ball games, and that infuriated one of the yokozuna council members. She is believed to have said he should have at least sat in practice. Maru is said to have argued back--but not directly to her.
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