EMPEROR'S CUP WINNER: KAIO
Outstanding Performance Award: Tochinonada, Tochiazuma
Outstanding Technique Award: Kotomitsuki
Fighting Spirit Award: Tamanoshima
Terao was unable to beat Tosanoumi, finishing this tourney with 8 wins 7 losses. Takanonami used his arms to squeeze Hamanoshima's and won. He finished with 6 wins. Dejima who was on the verge of demotion pushed out Asashoryu to retain his ozeki ranking. Miyabiyama won his 7th bout by defeating Wakanosato. Wakanosato ended with a majority loss of 6 to 9. And the highlight of the day was fought between 2 ozeki tied for the top. Kaio and Musoyama clashed into eachother. Musoyama tangled his leg around Kaio's in an attempt to trip him. But that didn't work. And Kaio, got his right grip of Musoyama's belt. He tried to force a throw. Musoyama's head went down. Now, it was up to the result of the final bout whether Kaio will go into a playoff. The 2 yokozuna faced eachother. Takanohana stood up to bang into Musashimaru. Maru was not ready, so the bout had to be restarted. Then when they were about to stand up, Takanohana called time. They tried to start for the third time. The 2 this time, took off. Musashimaru got a stronger start, pushing Takanohana forward and won. Kaio, who was watching by the ring put his fist out in relief. It's his Kaio's first Emperor Cup as ozeki, and his 2nd overall.
Terao was driven out from behind by Kotonowaka. Takanonami had to redo his bout against Kyokutenho. But he managed to take out Kyokutenho by squeezing his arms for his 5th win. Tochiazuma clinched a majority win defeating Tamanoshima. Takanowaka threw Dejima for his majority win too. Dejima, with a 7-7 record must win on the final day or else will be demoted from ozeki ranking next tourney. Asashoryu gave speedy thrusts at Miyabiyama. They were effective. Miyabiyama took a majority loss and if does the same next tourney can lose his ozeki post. Musoyama had a good start and defeated Wakanosato. Kaio who did not shave until the day before looked clean. Taking off to fight Takanohana, he tried to shift to the side. Then he pushed at the yokozuna. Finally, the two tried to topple eachother with a hold of the belt at the edge of the ring. But Kaio lost balance first and lost. Musashimaru, who's not contending anymore for the Emperor's Cup won a wobbly bout against Tochinonada. Takanohana, Musoyama and Kaio have tied for first place.
Terao gave his trademark thrusts, which drove out Hamanoshima. He has secured his majority win. Kyokushuzan pulled out from this day, giving Minatofuji automatically his 5th win. The Mongolian's record of fighting 663 straight bouts since his debut ended. It was the 10th best record among the active rikishi. Takanonami walked out of the ring when Asanowaka stepped aside, succumbing to his 9th loss. Dejima shifted to the side at face off, and then drove Wakanosato out for his 7th win. It was the other way around in the next bout. Takanowaka stepped to the side to put down Miyabiyama. The ozeki is down to his 7th loss. Kaio faced Musashimaru. The yokozuna stood up quicker and got hold of Kaio's belt, taking him out. Kaio was powerless, and tainted his clean record for the first time. Musoyama and Takanohana clashed into eachother. The ozeki got the yokozuna's belt and rolled him on the dirt packed ring. The 2 have tied for 2nd place, while Kaio despite his loss kept his lead.
Terao grabbed Higonoumi's arm and took him down to win his 7th bout. Musoyama managed to push out Takanowaka. Kaio drove out Tamanoshima to continue his winning streak. Dejima's foot went outside the ring first, thus succumbing to his 6th loss. Tokitsuumi won. Miyabiyama too lost his 6th bout. He was taken out by Takanohana. Tochiazuma tried to get himself under Musashimaru. Then he pulled away and in the end the yokozuna fell. It was a terrible day for the Musashigawa stable of whom Musashimaru and Miyabiyama are members.
Tamanoshima, who's runner up with only one loss faced Musoyama. The ozeki showed that he was superior by throwing the maegashira number 10 powerfully. Kaio banged into Takanonami and too the former ozeki out. Miyabiyama thrusted down Tochinonada for his 6th win. Musashimaru looked as if he was about to kill Asashoryu. He took the Mongolian by his neck and threw him down. Takanohana with an overarm throw defeated Dejima. Kaio still leads, while Takanohana the sole runner up.
Mongolian, Kyokushuzan at last won his first bout by defeating Wakanoyama. He's reported to have a severely sprained calf. Dejima got on top of Takanonami to win. Kaio had a slow start. But he got hold of Miyabiyama's arm and forced him out. Tochiazuma, who has a good record against Musoyama proved it and won. He's even, while Musoyama lost his 2nd bout. Takanohana easily beat Takanowaka. Musashimaru had a tough time. He tried to push out Tokitsuumi several times at the edge of the ring, but Tokitsuumi didn't let him. So in the end, Maru's weight did it. Kaio remains the leader.
The 2 attackers faced eachother, but in the end Terao was the one to win by thrusting Takatoriki down. Takanonami lifted Chiyotenzan up and dropped him out of the ring. The skill, named "suriotoshi" is the first time it's used in the makuuchi division. Miyabiyama pushed down Tokitsuumi for his 5th win. Kaio stopped Dejima who charged toward him, and then threw him. Kaio's power is amazing. Both yokozuna won. Musashimaru, against Takanowaka, and Takanohana over Hayateumi.
Terao shifted his body slightly and took Tochinohana out for his 5th win. Miyabiyama pushed out Kyokutenho to earn his 4th win. Kotomitsuki got a good start, but Musoyama's strength overwhelmed his. Kaio had no problem driving out Chiyotenzan for another victory. Dejima went straight towards Tochinonada and won his 5th bout. Takanohana thrusted down Wakanosato. Musashimaru managed to take out Takanonami. So Kaio still leads, followed by Takanohana and 2 others.
Takanonami got hold of Takanowaka's belt, lifted him up, and took him out for his 3rd win. Musoyama quickly defeated Hayateumi. Kaio was incredible again. He got Wakanosato's belt and threw him. Dejima went forward and drove Chiyotenzan out. Miyabiyama didn't have to fight to pick up his 3rd win. That's because Kotoryu withdrew, due to the injury he sustained the previous day. He broke his left elbow. Kotomitsuki did not give in easily when Musashimaru pushed. Twice, Kotomitsuki withheld the yokozuna's shove on the verge of the ring. In the end, Kotomitsuki was able to walk out his huge opponent. Witnessing the upset, the audience threw their cushions up in the air. Takanohana, however, had not problem defeating Kyokutenho. This day was the 400th straight day, Osaka attracted a full house to the grand tourney. A 2000 yen bill was distributed to organizers and the press to commemorate.
Terao continously thrusted Minatofuji, but his hand touched the ground. He's down to 2 losses. Kaio got hold of Kotoryu's arm, and threw him out of the ring. Both said they heard Kotoryu's arm break. Kotomitsuki got hold of Dejima's belt and won. Dejima must earn a majority win to keep his ozeki post, but he's already lost 3 bouts. Tochiazuma with stood the fight against Miyabiyama and took the ozeki out. Takanonami was no match for Musoyama. Chiyotenzan had to chance to attack Takanohana. The yokozuna drove him out. Musashimaru got a good hold of Hayateumi and won. So Kaio is still the leader.
Terao, this time, was pushed out, succumbing to his first loss. The up-and-coming Mongolian, Asashoryu, got hold of Takanonami's leg and won. Tochiazuma shifted to the side as the bout took off and Dejima flopped. For Tochiazuma, it's his first win. Miyabiyam was pushed down as he turned his back towards Kotomitsuki. Musoyama quickly drove out Chiyotenzan. Kaio was powerful. He tried to throw, Kyokutenho with his arm, and that skill slipped. Still Kaio won to continue his winning streak. Musashimaru squeezed Kotoryu's arm and shoved him down. Takanohana drove out Wakanoyama. So Kaio is now the only one with a perfect record.
Terao started the bout with thrusts and in the end, lightly got hold of Daishi's belt and took him out. The veteran clinched his 4th straight win. If you may be wondering about the two who fought a lengthy bout the previous day--Takatoriki was taken out by Higonoumi. Kotonowaka too lost, to Tochisakae. Takanonami lost to Tokitsuumi, his 2nd loss. Miyabiyama earned a lucky win. Hayateumi was trying to push him at the edge of the ring, but his left leg went over the ring as he was taking the aggressive move. Kyokutenho got hold of Musoyama's hand and pulled the ozeki, landing him on the ring. Kaio threw Tochinonada for his 4th win. Dejima went dashing into Kotoryu, but when Kotoryu moved away, he fell. Takanohana this time, defeated Kotomitsuki to a powerful overarm throw. Mongolian, Kyokushuzan tried to play a trick on Musashimaru by starting the bout near the edge of the ring, but the yokozuna was not affected. So there were 2 upsets in the ozeki ranking.
Terao won again. This time he shoved down Aminishiki. Kotonowaka and Takatoriki fought a very long bout. It was so long, it had to be stopped as it is the rule after 4 minutes. And it was resumed. In the end, Kotonowaka drove Takatoriki out in 8.30 minutes. Kotonowaka said afterwards that it felt like fighting 2 years worth of sumo. And there were upsets in the champion class. Takanonami managed to take out Miyabiyama. Chiyotenzan drove the big Musashimaru out. Tochinonada charged without hesistating towards Takanohana and quickly took the yokozuna out.
Terao pulled back to win his 2nd bout. He faced Tamanoshima. An upset was, Takanonami's victory over Tochiazuma. Otherwise, all ozeki and yokozuna won their bouts. Takanohana marked his 1000th bout with a win over Kotoryu. Musashimaru pushed down Wakanosato.
Tohki was back fight as juryo number 4. And he was able to thrust down Daizen for his first win since causing a fatal car accident. The sellout crowd was delighted to see Terao back in the makuuchi division as maegashira number 12. He gave thrusts toward Otsukasa's throat. Then Terao pushed his opponent from behind his head to win. Up and coming Mongolian Asashoryu, with an underarm throw defeated big Kotonowaka. Takanonami lost to Wakanosato. Dejima banged into Hayateumi and pushed him out. Miyabiyama and Chiyotenzan played a competitive match. As both had a hold of eachother at the edge of the ring, Chiyotenza not only tried to throw, but wit his hand, pushed Miyabiyama's leg. It's one of the latest skills incorporated from last tournament called kozumatori. Musoyama shoved out Kotoryu. Kaio resisted Wakanoyama's shoves, and pushed him oiut. Musashimaru had an easy win over Kyokutenho. Tochizama's determination to fight hard was apparent, but in the end, Takanohana threw him out the ring.
Pre Tourney highlights
Terao back in makuuchi
The ranking for sumo wrestlers were announced on Feb 26. Terao at age 38 was promoted back to the makuuchi division from the juryo making him the oldest after World War 2 to make a comeback. 4 other rikishi got repromoted too. Tohki was demoted to juryo, meaning his stable Takasago for the first time since 1878 has noone in the makuuchi.
Lenient conditions for tryouts
On Feb. 21, 16 youngsters were at the try out. The original height limitation of 1.73 meters was pushed down to 167 due to shortage of sumo aspirants. There was one, who wore a hairpiece to make up for a couple of centimeters he was lacking from his height. But sumo officials soon discovered it and he had to take it off. However, the man passed the test. In all, 13 were accepted.
Tohki set to fight again
Tohki hit a woman in Osaka on Dec 18 and killed her. He was forced to pull out of the New Year tourney to take responsibility for the incident. But it's learned that he will fight in Osaka, although it will be in the juryo division.