Technique award: Dejima
Fighting spirit award: Dejima, Tamakasuga
Outstanding performance award: Kaio
Kaio defeated Tosanoumi, Musashimaru lost to Takanonami, and Akebono touched the ground with his hand first when he and Takanohana were both falling out of the ring. As a result, a 4-way playoff took place between those tied with a record of 12 wins 3 losses. Takanohana and Kaio were the first on the ring. Kaio tried to shove the yokozuna out of the ring but failed. Next, Akebono and Musashimaru clashed, and Akebono proved to be superior. So finally, the 2 yokozuna faced each other for the spring tourney crown. It was a short bout. Takanohana's thrust made Akebono fall right in the middle of the ring. Takanohana clinched his 16th Emperor's Cup.
Kaio showed power in his sumo against newcomer Dejima. He took hold of the kids belt and threw him over to improve his record 11 to 3. Musashimaru faced Takanohana and it was the Hawaiian who took control of the belt first. The two stood on the ring motionless until Maru, with all the his might, dropped the yokozuna outside the ring. Meanwhile, Akebono threw out ozeki Takanonami. The 2 Hawaiian born wrestlers are the leaders, followed by Takanohana and Kaio. It's a very competitive tournament!
For sure, Konishiki can stay in the makuuchi division. He won another bout by taking Asahiyutaka easily out of the ring. Chuo University alumni, Tamakasuga and Dejima faced each other for the first time. The senior Tamakasuga won and Dejima suffered his 3rd loss. Kaio also marked his 3rd loss by losing to Asanoshoh who defeated the yokozuna the previous day. Terao fell to the bottom of the ring during his bout against Kyokushuzan. It was discovered later that day that he has actually broken a toe in his right foot. He will not only miss rest of the tournament, but also the next Summer Grand Sumo Tournament. His makuuchi appearance streak which has continued for 18 years stopped this day. The Hawaiian born high rankers clashed. Akebono quickly grasped Musashimaru's belt. Ake tried to throw him. Maru lost his balance and was pushed out. Musashimaru is down to 2 losses joining Akebono and Takanohana.
Konishiki has clinched his 5th win that he needs to stay in the top division. It doesn't mean he's completely safe yet, because depending on how well the top juryo rankers perform he may have to give up his post to one of them. The bout everyone's attention was focused on was between the top runners Kaio and Musashimaru. But to the disappointment of fans, Maru won so easily. Also, Akebono's bout was really upsetting. He took off by attacking Asanoshoh's throat, but suddenly started to pull back. The yokozuna recorded his 2nd loss. Musashimaru leads the pack alone, followed by Kaio, Akebono, Takanohana and newcomer Dejima.
The great big Konishiki walked the 198cm. Daihisho out of the ring. So now the former ozeki has 4 wins. New makuuchi wrestler Dejima is continuing to be doing well. He threw the "Saltshaker" Mitoizumi to clinch his 9th win this tournament. Ozeki Takanonami lost to quick moving Kotonishiki. He is now 8 to 3. The other ozeki and yokozuna have all won. So the top candidates for the tourney have not changed.
Konishiki took out Ganyu to mark his 3rd win. He needs 2 more wins to stay in the makuuchi division. Takanonami saved himself from being demoted from the status of ozeki by marking a majority win this day against Musoyama. Akebono's forehead was red and swollen from the previous day. But he showed power by thrusting Terao out of the ring. The other leaders Kaio and Musashimaru also won to stay on top of the pack with only one loss..
The ozeki who is in danger of losing his title if he has a majority loss has been beaten again. Takanonami is now 7 to 2. Musashimaru over powered Kyokushuzan. The bout of the day was definitely Akebono vs Kaio. Akebono was about to take Kaio out of the ring easily, but Kaio endured the push. Then Kaio was the one to take action. He got hold of the yokozuna's belt and toppled him out of the ring and himself falling on the ground. Akebono landed on his forehead and scraped it rather badly. Akebono suffered his first loss and is tied for the lead with Kaio and Musashimaru.
To everyone's dismay, Konishiki was pushed out by fellow Hawaiian born Yamato. One of the most exciting bout of the day was between 20 year-old Tochiazuma and the menacing Takatoriki. The youngster was at one point about to go over the ring. But he was able to fight Takatoriki back and dropped him on the ground. Another great bout was fought between Takanonami and Kaio. Kaio was more or less swinging the gigantic ozeki all over the ring. In the end, Kaio pushed the ozeki from behind to improve his record 7 to 1. Takanonami succumbed to his first loss this tourney. Akebono had an easy defeat over Kyokushuzan. The Hawaiian born yokozuna is the only one with 8 perfect wins, and the first to record a majority win or a kachikoshi.
A second straight win for Konishiki! He was able to withstand the aggressive Asanowaka. Kyokushuzan is having difficulty this tournament. He was again defeated this day. This time by Kotoryu. The Mongolian wrestler has only one win and 6 losses. A great upset occurred in the final bout! Takanohana was thrown out of the ring by the strong armed Kaio. The yokozuna faced his 2nd loss while Kaio has only one loss as of this day. Akebono and Takanonami remain on top with no loss.
The 275 kilo guy was finally able to win his first bout this tourney. Konishiki pushed Misugisato out. Takatoriki is in great shape. He forced Kyokushuzan so easily out the ring. Musashimaru was suprisingly helpless. Kotonishiki took the ozeki's belt and pushed him out. It's Maru's first loss. Now Akebono and Takanonami are the only ones undefeated.
Konishiki dropped to the ground again. He hasn't won a bout yet. Kyokushuzan slapped Takanonami as they took off to fight. However, that didn't do anything to the ozeki. Takanonami got hold of his opponent's mawashi or belt and carried him out of the ring. Takanohana had an easy win over Kotonishiki, this time. Actually, Kotonishiki lost balance and fell on his right knee. Akebono, Musashimaru and Takanonami still have perfect wins.
Wakanohana is out from this day. He has ripped a muscle in his right leg in the bout against Kyokushuzan the previous day. It will take him 3 months to recover. That means, he may have to miss the next tournament as well. Waka's promotion to yokozuna has been shattered this time. Focus now has shifted to his younger brother Takanohana. However, as soon as he took off to fight his bout, Kotonowaka grapped the back of his head and pulled him down. It was a quick defeat for Taka. The two Hawaiians and Takanonami remain undefeated. Konishiki showed great fighting spirit but went down on the ring. Kyokushuzan lost to Kotonishiki.
Konishiki is back, after missing the first 2 days of this tourney. He attacked Kitakachidoki with fervor. But his legs wouldn't move smoothly enough that he fell down. The fans were, at any rate, delighted to see Konishiki. Konishiki said after the bout that he was happy to receive such big cheers. The Mongolian gave Wakanohana a tough time. Wakanohana went behind Kyokushuzan at one point. Waka would've easily won from that position, but he couldn't. The powerful sumo went on for a while, and Waka finally was able to take Kyokushuzan to the floor. The other ozeki and yokozuna won their bouts.
Michiyo's Note: By the way, in the juryo division, the 2 smallest high ranking sumo wrestlers faced eachother. They are Tomonohana and Mainoumi. They went to the same university and have had the chance to be in the school's sumo club at the same time. Now, what happened in this bout was that Mainoumi carried Tomonohana out of the ring. Who would have even imagined seeing the small guy picking a sumo wrestler up. It was in fact the first time he did it in the official tournament.
Cheers amounted as Kyokushuzan hopped onto the ring. He was matched up with the poker faced Akinoshima. Kyokushuzan got behind Aki and took hold of his left leg. Aki was driven out of the ring in that awkward position. Another exciting bout took place between Takanonami and Tochiazuma. With legs entangled, they fell outside the ring. Although the gyoji or refree gave Tochiazuma the bout, the judges ruled that they dropped at the same time, so another bout was played between them. As a result, Takanonami threw Tochiazuma out the ring. All ozeki and yokozuna ranking wrestlers have won their bouts. By the way, former komusubi Naminohana officially announced his retirement this day.
A new face in the makuuchi division this time is Dejima. He took to a great start by taking fellow collegiate graduate wrestler Hamanoshima, out of the ring. Popular wrestlers Kaio and Musoyama was matched up from the start. Kaiyo overwhelmed his rival. The spectators certainly enjoyed Tochiazuma's never-give-up attitude even though he was pushed by Musashimaru rigorously near the edge of the ring. Everyone gave him a big applause even though he lost as a result. In the final bout of the day, new komusubi, Kyokushuzan, was set to fight Takanohana. The Mongolian wrestler tried to trick the yokozuna in the beginning. He couldn't put the yokozuna off balance. Taka thrusted Kyokushuzan to win the bout.
Pre tourney highlights
Wakanohana gets to try out for the ultimate title of yokozuna this time. The spotlight is definitely on Mongolian wrestler Kyokushuzan. He was been promoted to komushubi, or the 4th highest titled ranking. Whereever he goes, the press follows. Meanwhile, the popular Hawaiian born former ozeki, Konishiki has been hospitalized since Mar. 4. He's been infected with a virus and his fever soared to 40 degress celsius. However, as maegashira number 10, he cannot miss the entire tournament, because if he does, he will surely be demoted to the juryo division. For him, that would mean retirement.
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