EMPEROR'S CUP WINNER: CHIYOTAIKAI
Outstanding Performance Award: None
Outstanding Technique Award: Takamisakari
Fighting Spirit Award: Kyokutenho
Takamisakari seemed to have a good grip of Tamanoshima's belt. But after he's changed his grip, Tamanoshima got a better position with the belt and took him out. Both finished the tourney 8 to 7. Takanonami did not pressure Kyokutenho enough to the edge of the ring. The Mongolian turned the former ozeki around to throw him out the ring. Takanonami succumbed to a majority loss. Miyabiyama pulled back as Tosanoumi pushed forward. Tosanoumi won, and clinched a majority win. Wakanosato got his arms behind Dejima, on the belt, picked him up and won. Kaio was given a warm cheer by the crowd as he got on the ring. Expectations were high that Kaio'd win to make the final day exciting. But he faced off against Kotomitsuki, meekly and Kotomitsuki got his arm, and took him out. Kaio was helpless. The crowd was disappointed. The tourney highlight was the final bout. Chiyotaikai stood up and gave Asashoryu a series of thrusts. Asashoryu tried withstanding it, while stretching his arms out for Chiyo's belt. But the ozeki kept on ruthlessly shoving the yokozuna. He finally gave a explosive shove to drive Asashoryu out of the ring. Chiyotaikai clinched his 3rd Emperor's Cup crown with a 12 to 3 record. Asashoryu finished his first tourney as Yokozuna 10 to 5.
Aminishiki hooked his leg around Takanonami to topple the former ozeki. Both marked 7 wins 7 losses. Hokutoriki thrust out another former ozeki. Dejima succumbed to his 6th loss. Takamisakari did not allow Wakanosato to fight and drove him out. The popular rikishi clinched his 8th win. Chiyotaikai and Miyabiyama pushed at eachother for a while. Chiyo managed to win by pulling Miyabiyama towards him, and putting him down. Asashoryu was no match for Kaio. The 2 clashed against eachother, and Kaio with his left, thrust the yokozuna down. Chiyotaikai has again become the sole leader followed by Asashoryu and Kaio. Kaio
Miyabiyama gave thrusts which Takamisakari stopped and grabbed him out to earn his 7th win. Dejima pulled back and after that he couldn't get hold of Kaiho's belt and was instead taken out. It's the former ozeki's 8th loss. Takanonami was taken out by Wakanosato. Chiyotaikai quickly gave thrusts, but Kaio with his right stopped his opponent, and put him down. Chiyo's down to his 3rd loss. Asashoryu showed great determination to fight this bout well, and he did. He stood up to fight quickly and got hold of Kotomitsuki's belt with both hands, picking him up to take him out the ring. Since Chiyo lost, Asashoryu is now tied with him for the Emperor's Cup.
It was a good day for all former ozeki. Miyabiyama clinched his 9th win by driving out Hokutoriki. Takanonami defeated Tokitsumi by putting him down on the dirt. Tokitsumi seemed to be in great pain after the bout and he had a bloody nose. He had to be taken out on a wheelchair. Dejima took out Tamanoshima to secure his majority win. As for incumbent ozeki--Kaio took out Kyokushuzan to clinch a majority win, and saving himself from losing his ozeki ranking. Chiyotaikai charged forward to push out Kaiho. It's his 10th win. Asashoryu beat Wakanosato. Chiyotaikai leads, followed by Asashoryu and Miyabiyama.
Miyabiyama beat Tochinohana to clinch a majority win. Tochinonada got hold of Takanonami's belt and drove him out. Takanonami faced his 5th loss. Takamisakari fought a good bout, taking out Tosanoumi. They are with a record of 5 to 6. Kyokutenho drove Dejima to the edge of the ring, but Dejima resisted further shove, and instead he got himself around to force out Kyokutenho. It's Dejima's 7th win. Chiyotaikai could not give thrusts. He had to fight for Wakanosato's belt, but Wakanosato proved better, and the ozeki lost his 2nd bout. Kaio was a bit slow to take off, but soon got hold of Kotoryu and won. Kaio earned his 7th bout. Asashoryu did not fight an easy bout. Kaiho tried to throw him, but managed to avoid the worst from happening and instead put his opponent down. Chiyotaikai is still on top.
Miyabiyama pushed out Kotoryu for his 7th win. Dejima started out well, or so it seemed. Takamisakari withstood and instead took Dejima out. It's the former ozeki's 4th loss. Takanonami pulled away while Kotomitsuki pushed forward. Both fell from the ring, but the refrees ruled that Takanonami was out first, succumbing to his 4th loss. Chiyotaikai was automatically given a win since Shimotori pulled out from the tourney. Kaio fought hard to get hold of Wakanosato's belt. But he missed. And Wakanosato pulled away when Kaio tried to instead give a big thrust. He fell. Both are 6 to 4. Asashoryu this time pushed and then pulled away, getting Tamanoshima on the dirt. So Chiyotaikai keeps his lead.
Takanonami forced Takamisakari to the edge of the ring with his arm power. Takamisakari was able to avoid being taken out. But Takanonami threw the popular rikishi on the ring to earn his 6th win. Dejima took out Tosanoumi this time. Chiyotaikai with thrusts defeated Kotoryu this time, and secured a majority win, thus saving himself from being demoted from ozeki ranking. Kaio gave a powerful overarm throw on Shimotori. It's the ozeki's 6th victory. Asashoryu was defeated. Kotonowaka with his right arm threw the yokozuna. Cushions flew towards the ring in response to the result. It's Asashoryu's 3rd loss already.
The crowd gave Takamisakari a big applause when he beat Tohki by throwing him on the ring. Dejima who defeated the yokozuna the day before, this time was thrown by Tochinonada. Takanonami squeezed Tosanoumi's arm under his, and with the one arm forced Tosa down. Kaio quickly got hold of Kyokutenho and took him out easily. Both are 5 to 3. Chiyotaikai pulled back helplessly to Tamanoshima's thrusts to succumb to his first loss. As Kotoryu was about to motion into a throw, Asashoryu hooked his foot around, and went low to get behind his opponents knee. It's Asashoryu's 6th win. At this point, Chiyotaikai is still the leader. 6 are tied for 2nd place.
Takamisakari managed to win his 2nd bout by throwing Tochinonada before a sellout crowd. Kaio as soon as he clashed against Takanonami moved slightly to the side. The former ozeki took advantage of his reluctant move to win. Both are 4 to 3. Chiyotaikai quickly pushed out Kotonowaka to keep the lead. The big upset was in the final bout. It appeared that as soon as Asashoryu and Dejima clashed against eachother, Dejima tried to pull away. But it was just within seconds he tried to clinch the yokozuna's belt. The proved effective, The former ozeki quickly gave big shoves and pushed Asashoryu out of the ring.
Miyabiyama drove out Jumonji for his 4th win. Takanonami held up Kotoryu with his arms and took him out. Kotoryu succumbed to his first loss. Dejima pushed out Kotomitsuki. Chiyotaikai shoved down Tosanoumi to be the only one with a perfect record. Musoyama, after his defeat by Tochinonada, looked like he was in pain. It was learned that he's hurt his shoulder and will have to pull out. Kaio charged forward and quickly drove out Tamanoshima. Asashoryu with his left threw Takamisakari on the dirt.
Tohki pulled down Miyabiyama. Takamisakari was thrown down by Iwakiyama. Musoyama struggled, but managed kept on pushing and defeated Shimotori. He clinched his first win at last. Kaio pulled away while Dejima pushed forward. Kaio, naturally lost. Both are 3 to 2. Chiyotaikai seemed to be chasing Takanonami who kept on pulling away with thrusts and the incumbent ozeki pushed out the former ozeki. Asashoryu seemed to have a hard time fighting Tochinonada. In the end, he hooked his leg around Tochinonada to put him off balance.
New makuuchi rikishi Takekaze had to withdraw as he hurt himself in the bout the day before. Former ozeki Takanonami held Kaiho between his arms, had his feet off the dirt at one point, and took him out. It's Takanonami's 2nd win. Kyokutenho who defeated the yokozuna the day before, charged forward and quickly took out Iwakiyama. Dejima and Kotoryu had to redo the bout. Kotoryu managed to throw the former ozeki down the ring. Kotonowaka was powerless before Kaio. Kaio clinched his 3rd win. Chiyotaikai with thrusts defeated Takamisakari. Chiyo is with a perfect standing. Wakanosata gave an overarm throw to defeat Musoyama. Musoyama is still without a win. Asashoryu did not seem to fight with confidence, but when he pulled away, Shimotori dropped. So the yokozuna earned his 3rd win.
Asasekiryu who's Asashoryu's dew sweeper during the ring entrance ceremony won his first bout in the top division. He pushed out Kasuganishiki. Miyabiyama drove out Kinkaiyama. Tohki twirled around once, and kept himself inside the ring. But it was after that the bout dragged on. The bout was finished in 2 minutes 42 seconds when Kotonowaka finally succeeded in taking Tohki out. Both are 1-2. Dejima pushed out Takanonami. It's Dejima's 2nd win. Chiyotaikai gave a series of thrust and drove out Tochinonada for his 3rd win. Musoyama was again powerless. Takamisakari was the one to get hold of the ozeki's belt with his right and throwing him out the ring. For Takamisakari it's his first victory over an ozeki above class rikishi. Kaio as he stood up to fight, immediately pulled Tosanoumi toward him and put him down. Asashoryu was driving Kyokutenho toward the edge of the ring, but suddently Kyokutenho lifted up the leg Asashoryu had his leg hooked around.The lower ranking Mongolian threw the yokozuna down. It's the yokozuna's first loss. And it's the first time Kyokutenho clinched a win from Asashoryu.
Miyabiyama managed to take out Tokitsuumi for his first win. Musoyama lost again. This time to Kyokutenho. Kaio was able to walk out Takamisakari. Dejima charged forward and was thrust down immediately by Chiyotaikai. Asashoryu drove out Takanonami.
Asashoryu,the 68th yokozuna held his ring entrance ceremony in his new post for the first time. He seemed to have forgotten the routine while he was at it, but it was a ceremony done with dignity. He was accompanied by Tohki and Mongolian Asasekiryu, freshly promoted to the makuuchi division. In the bouts, Dejima, ranked Komusubi hooked his leg around Kotonowaka to win. Kotonowaka could not immediately get up, bringing worries. Popular Takamisakari lost easily to Kotomitsuki. Kaio who was back after missing the whole New Year tourney was not able to fight with force. He was driving out by Tochinonada, disappointing fans. Chiyotaikai back for this tourney too was able to take out Kyokutenho. Musoyama could not get a good hold of Takanonami. He turned his back toward the former ozeki and was driving out. Asashoryu looked tense, unlike his usual self. But he managed to thrust down Tosanoumi.
Michiyo's Note: During the juryo bouts, Takanohana was seen to be on his new job. He was one of the security guards. But he needed the help of guards to free him from his fans.
Pre Tourney highlights
Takanowaka unlikely to be in the tourney
Sekiwaka Takanowaka who hurt is left knee on the final day of the New Years tourney has not gone back to practice as of March 6, and is expected to miss the tourney.
Musashimaru to miss tourney
The yokozuna's stablemaster Musashigawa said on Mar 3 that Musashimaru will not be ready to fight. His injured left wrist is believed to not be recovering fast enough. This means the Asashoryu will be the only yokozuna to compete.