Outstanding Performance Award: Kisenosato
Outstanding Technique Award: Kotoshogiku
Fighting Spirit Award: Okinoumi
Spring grand tournament is cancelled
For the first time in sumo history, the grand sumo tournament was cancelled due to a scandal on the ring. This was unveiled by Hanaregoma on Feb 6. There was a case where one was cancelled and that was back in 1946 when the sumo arena had to be repaired from the damage from World War 2.
Fixed match suspicion surfaces from prosecutors
It was on Feb 2 a shocking announcement by Hanaregoma Chairman of the Japan Sumo Association. That about a dozen sumo wrestlers and a coach was suspected of fixing bouts and exchanging fees for it. The following day, Education Minister Takaki said 3 admitted in fixing matches. Taking on that report, NHK decided to cancel its hosting of a charity sumo tournment, and Fuji TV decided it was canning the tournament it was planning to host.
Okinoumi was awarded one of the top 3 prizes, but lost to Tokisegawa's thrust to finish with 11 wins. Homasho charged forward to take out Kakuryu and secure a majority win. Goeido forced Kotoshogiku to fall on his hands. Both finished with 11 wins. Kisenosato and Harumafuji banged into eachother. Kisenosato was more powerful, forcing the light Mongolian down the ring. Harumafuji could not get up for a while. Koto-o-shu forced Baruto to fall on his back and won his 10th bout. Hakuho gave Kaio a number of thrusts preventing the popular ozeki from getting a hold of his belt. Then when Hakuho grabbed Kaio, Kaio's arm slipped and went out the ring. Hakuho won his 14th bout.
Kotokasuga who faced Takamisakari for the first time had a quick start, charging into the Robocop and driving him out to secure a majority win. Takamisakari succumbed to a majority loss. Runner up, Okinoumi challenged Kisenosato. Okinoumi didn't have a bad start, but Kisenosato got hold of his young opponent's belt and drove him out. Its Okinoumi's 3rd loss. Kotoshogiku powerfully clashed into Harumafuji. He hit the Mongolian ozeki so hard, with that Harumafuji was driven out the ring. It's Kotoshogiku's 11th win. Kaio got hold of Koto-o-shu's right arm. He swung the Bulgarian and drove him out the ring. Both are 9-5. Hakuho and Baruto got hold of eachother's belt. Baruto at one point appeared to be in control. But in the end Hakuho threw Baruto and won his 14th bout. And with this win, Hakuho clinched his 18th tourney victory and his 6th tourney win in a row. It's also his career total 300th win.
Kimurayama attacked Takamisakari's throat. The Robocop was taken to the edge of the ring, but he shifted position and instead drove out Kimurayama. Kimurayama took his 8th loss. Kotoshogiku charged into Homasho, and with that good start he managed to drive Homasho out. It's Kotoshogiku's 10th win. Baruto went for Kisenosato's throat. Kisenosato pulled back and with that, lost to the ozeki. Kaio's shoulder was heavily taped. But he was there to fight Harumafuji who got hold of the popular ozeki's belt and drove him down. By securing a majority win, Harumafuji retained his ozeki post. Koto-o-shu tried to get hold of Hakuho's belt, but could not get a good enough grip and Hakuho won by driving out the tall Bulgarian.
Wakanosato pulled back and lost to Goeido who clinched a majority win. Miyabiyama fell to Asasekiryu's throw and succumbed to a majority loss. Kisenosato fought with watchful eyes, and manged to drive Tamawashi down for his 8th win. Koto-o-shu shoved with a hold of Kakuryu's belt. But in the end the Mongolian threw the Bulgarian out the ring. Kaio pulled Baruto's arm, shoved and shoved to win his 8th bout. Hakuho gave thrusts after thrusts and drove Harumafuji down for his 11th win.
Wakanosato and Okinoumi competed in a close bout. The judges questioned who was winner was, but decided that Wakanosato's foot left the ring first before Okinoumi fell. It's Okinoumi's 9th win. Takamisakari managed to drive Asasekiryu out. The Mongolian's foot left the ring which the Robocop did not notice, and so tried to give him another shove and did to win. Tochiozan and Yoshikaze had to redo their bout. Yoshikaze moved around and thrust down Tochiozan for his 2nd win, while Tochiozan succumbed to his 8th loss. Kotoshogiku got hold of Baruto's body and drove the Estonian ozeki out. Both are 8-3. Tamawashi was cautious in the bout against Kaio. He would dare not get too close but resorted to thrusts. Kaio gave thrust back. But in the end, Tamawashi won with a push out. It's reported Kaio appears to be having a seriousl shoulder pain since the day before. Harumafuji moved quickly forward but Koto-o-shu got a hold of the Mongolian's belt and drove him out. Hakuho charged forward but slighly losing control. Kisenosato, who beat the yokozuna in the previous tournament shoved him, and won. It's Hakuho's first loss. But he's still the sole leader.
Wakanosato tried to quickly shoved Tochinonada. But on the verge of the ring, Tochinonada threw Wakanosato to clinch a majority win. Kaio gave Kisenosato a thrust then pulled back, driving the 24 year old down. It's Kaio's 7th win. Harumafuji pushed down Goeido. Aran surpised sumo fans by lifting up the very heavy Baruto to force him out of the ring. Hakuho dashed forward and drove down Kotoshogiku to keep his record clean.
Tochinonada was forced down by Okinoumi taking his 2nd loss in a row. Wakanosato lost too, to Gagamaru's push out. Koto-o-shu got a hold of Tokusegawa's belt and forced him out for a majority win. Harumafuji gave Baruto thrusts that appeared effective, with the Estonian losing balance. But they were not strong enough. Baruto gave one big shove on which Harumafuji went flying out. Baruto secured a majority win. Kaio charged into Kotoshogiku then thrusted his head down to win his 6th bout. Hakuho gave thrusts then pushed and he was about to lose balance on the verge of the ring. But the yokozuna managed to stay within while thrusting down Homasho. Hakuho leads with 9 wins.
Tochinonada pulled back and was driven out by Shotenro to succumb to his first loss. Wakanosato drove Kimurayama out for his 7th win. Tosayutaka give Miyabiyama thrusts to push the former ozeki out. Both are 3-5. Gagamaru quickly drove out Takamisakari. Both are 3-5 too. Koto-o-shu immediately got hold of Kisenosato's belt, shoved and shoved and won. Baruto gave Homasho thrusts and won. Kaio banged into Aran. It took a while for him to get a hold of Aran's belt with his powerful right. But as soon as he did, the crowd reacted. And with that hold, Kaio drove out the Russian. Harumafuji had a quick start, banged into Tokusegawa, grabbed his belt and lifted him out the ring. Hakuho thrust down Tamawashi to become the sole leader.
Tochinonada grabbed the back of Mokonami's belt and threw him down. Miyabiyama gave Hakuba thrusts after another. But they were not powerful enough. The former ozeki then began to pull back and was driven out by the Mongolian. Wakanosato did not allow his hometown rival Takamisakari to defend and won. Baruto did not fight well, but was able to force Tamawashi down. Kakuryu shifted to the right and with that Kaio could not shift course and was driven out. Harumafuji got hold of the front of Aran's belt, then changed position and drove the Russian out. Koto-o-shu quickly got hold of the back of Yoshikaze's belt. Yoshikaze then tucked his head under the Bulgarian's chest. The ozeki took a while to pulls Yoshikaze's head away and throw him to win. Hakuho charged forward and he seemed to have slightly lost control but managed to drive out Tochiozan.
Tochinonada threw Koryu to win his 6th bout. Takamisakari and Shotenro's bout was held but with disapproval. They needed to redo their face off 5 times to get the timing right. But in the last try Takamisakari was not quick enough and was easily driven out by Shotenro. Wakanosato lost his first bout to Kitataiki. Kotoshogiku drove out Kisenosato for his 5th win. Kaio didn't give up in this bout against Homasho. And he tried to reach for Homasho's belt with his right. But the popular ozeki fell on his knee to lose his 2nd bout. Harumafuji tried to pull Tamawashi's arm towards him. But he fell backwards and lost. Koto-o-shu threw his tall Georgian opponent Tochinoshin and won. Tochiozan went into Baruto, giving the Estonian ozeki a difficult time. But Baruto managed to drive Tochiozan out. Hakuho got hold of Aran and forced the Russian out. Hakuho and Tochinonada lead with a perfect record.
Veteran rikishi Tochinonada thrust down Wakakoyu to improve his clean record. Miyabiyama got behind Shimotori and drove him out for his 3rd win. Kisenosato forced down Aminishiki for his 4th win. Harumafuji was driven out by Tochiozan succumbing to his first loss. Koto-o-shu banged into Tamawashi, circled around Tamawashi while attacking his head and finally drove him down. It's the Bulgarian ozeki's 4th win. Baruto got hold of Tochinoshin's belt and shoved him out. Kaio skillfully pushed out Toyonoshima. Hakuho smashed into Yoshikaze, shoved his opponent's head. While Yoshikaze was about to fall, he in vane tried to attack Hakuho's leg but was quickly forced down.
Takamisakari managed to get hold of Miyabiyama and forced the former ozeki out for his 3rd win. Kotoshogiku quickly drove out Tochiozan for his 4th win. Koto-o-shu was in control quickly, and drove out Aran. Baruto managed to stay inside the ring while thrusting down Aminishiki. Kaio could not get hold of Yoshikaze. Instead the ozeki pulled Yoshikaze's arm and forced him down. Hakuho got hold of the front of Tochinoshin's belt and drove him out.
Kisenosato gave Tochiozan thrusts and forced him out. Baruto drove out Yoshikaze. Kaio with his right arm threw the tall Tochinoshin. Harumafuji grabbed Kakuryu's belt with both hands and shoved him out. Koto-o-shu shoved forward and appeared to be in control, shoving Toyoshima down. But it was a close bout in which depending on the angle the bout was viewed, Koto-o-shu's foot seemed to have left the ring before Toyonoshima's heel touched outside the ring. The bout was in the end given to the Bulgarian ozeki. Hakuho shoved Aminishiki from behind. With that Aminishiki went down the ring and into the crowd.
Miyabiyama won his first bout by thrusting down Kitataiki. Takamisakari threw Tosayutaka for his 2nd win. Kisenosato was thrust down by Aran. Aminishiki slightly shifted to the side of Kaio and shoved the popular ozeki out. Harumafuji was pushed to the edge of the ring by Yoshikaze. But the Mongolian ozeki managed to stay inside, fight back and drive Yoshikaze out. Tochiozan went quickly inside Koto-o-shu and drove down the Bulgarian ozek. Baruto picked up Kakuryu and took him out the ring. Hakuho got hold of Toyonoshima and thrust him down.
Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko watched sumo together with a sellout crowd. The first bout they watch was between two Mongolians. Kyokutenho managed to force Asasekiryu out. Goeido who performed well the last tourney was thrown by Tokusegawa and fell on his back. Kisenosato won with a thrust against Yoshikaze. Harumafuji who was out last tourney appeared to be in good shape driving out tall Tochinoshin. Aminishiki pulled Koto-o-shu's arm and with that the Bulgarian ozeki appeared to be losing balance. And as he went forward flying, Aminishiki also left the ring. The bout was given to the ozeki who was shoving forward. Baruto shoved Toyonoshima. Toyonoshima pulled away. Baruto kept on shoving. In the end Baruto lost balance and went down the ring. Kaio rammed into Tochiozan, gave subtle thrusts with his right. Then with his left, Kaio drove Tochiozan down. He took with him 25 envelopes with prize money. Hakuho grabbed Kakuryu's arm and drove the other Mongolian quickly out the ring.
Pre Tourney highlight
Hakuho performs New Year ritual
3000 sumo fans watched Hakuho perform a ceremonial rituat at the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo on Jan 6. He was supported by Aminishiki as sword bearer and Kyokutenho as dew sweeper. He expressed his determination to win 6 tourneys in a row and tie with Yokozuna great Taiho.
Tosanoumi decides to retire
The eldest high ranker at this point, Tosanoumo announced he is retiring on Dec 15, 2010 and will remain with the Japan Sumo Association by taking on a new name Tatekawa. He's 38 year old. He was able to return to the makuuchi division in the autumn tourney but was demoted to the juryo division and finished there with 4 wins 11 losses in the Kyushu tourney. He entered sumo from Doshisha University in Kyoto.
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