EMPEROR'S CUP WINNER: MUSASHIMARU
Fighting Spirit Award: Miyabiyama, Chiyotenzan
Outstanding Performance Award: Akinoshima
Outstanding Technique Award: none
Mitoizumi was beaten by a juryo rikishi, Youtsukasa. He marked his 10th loss ranking maegashira number 10. The saltshake will probably be demoted to a lower division. Mitoizumi, after the bout denied the possibility of retiring. The 2 young up and coming rikishi both lost. Miyabiyama to Takatoriki, and Chiyotenzan to Dejima. Both finished the tourney with 9 wins 6 losses. The main bout of the day was the championship fight between Musashimaru and Takanonami. Takanonami took off too fast that the bout had to be restarted. Takanonami gripped Maru's belt with his right, and his left arm went around the rival's shoulder. That's his style, but it did not prove effective against the Hawaiian born. Musashimaru took Takanonami out for his 4th Emperor's Cup. The winning ozeki said during an interview that because he lost 10 kilos, he was able to move swifter.
The only 2 sumo wrestlers from Meiji University were matched. It's Miyabiyama with Tochinowaka. The younger guy beat the veteran by shoving him out. Musashimaru got Higonoumi on the floor, while Takanonamai walked Chiyotenzan out of the ring after 2 failed attempts to start the bout. The winner will be determined on the final day of the tourney with the bout against the 2 ozeki with 12 wins each.
Miyabiyama is having a tough time winning after clinching his 8th victory. He was sent down by Kaio as he went forward bent low. Chiyotenzan pushed down Akinoshima. Both are with 9 wins 4 loses. Takanonami got Kotonowaka by his shoulder and threw him down. Musashimaru pushed out Tochinonada with his right hand. So still the 2 ozeki are the top contenders.
Up and coming Miyabiyama clashed against Akinoshima, but then clashed on the ring right after. His record is 8-4 while Akinoshima is 9-3. Musashimaru while waiting by the ring wore a serious expression--which is quite unusual. He faced Chiyotaikai, and shoved the youngster out fo his 10th win. Takanonami looked tipsy. He was about to fall on the ring, then he'd get his balance back, but lose it again, and turned his back on Tamakasuga. But he twirled around and pushed Tamakasuga out. The 2 ozeki remain tied for 1st place.
Early this day, Takanohana underwent medical checkup and found out that he's broken a shoulder blade. He's pulled out of the tourney too. That means no yokozuna are playing this time. With Chiyotaikai missing too--it's a rare case where so many top rankers are absent from a tourney. As for the bouts--Chiyotenzan suddenly lost power in his legs and fell as he fought Tochiazuma. Musashimaru overpowered Mongolian Kyokushuzan for his 9th win. Miyabiyama for the first time challenged an ozeki. Takanonami wrang the newcomer's arms with his arms and got him tumbling down the ring. Takanonami and Musashimaru--the highest rankers at this point are the only 2 leading the tourney with 9 wins each. By the way, Tochinonada was given a win today and yesterday without fighting. The day before, he earned it because his opponent Wakanhana withdrew. Then he was matched up with Takanohana who had pulled out today.
Chiyotenzan forced Gojoro out, and Miyabiyama pushed down Kaiho securing both winners with a majority win. Takanonami, who must win a majority this time to keep his ozeki title, was pushed out by Tochiazuma, but that's after Tochi's knee touched the ground. So with the 8th win, the ozeki doesn't have to worry about demotion anymore. 2 other ozeki--one a veteran Musashimaru, and a fresh new one, Chiyotaikai faced eachother. Chiyo pushed and pulled back. But Maru in the end pushed him out. Chiyotaikai could not stand up for a while. His nose was bleeding terribly. He broke his nose and will have to miss the rest of the tourney. Tohki, as if strongly determined to defeat the yokozuna, gave strong shoves at Takanohana's throat--but in the end lost. By the way, when Takanohana was about to finish the bout, Tohki pushed down Taka's head. With that, Taka dropped on the ring and hit his shoulder while Tohki left the ring first. Taka could not get up immediately. 5 are still in the leading pack.
The main young players of the tourney, newcomer Miyabiyama and Chiyotenzan were matched up. Chiyotenzan shoved forward the former collegiate star who would withstand the attacks on the edge of the ring. To everyone's surprise, Miyabiyama was as immobile as a rock, and in the end when it seemed again that Chiyotenzan would force him out, insteand Miyabiyama pushed him down. Chiyotaikai was pushed out easily by Kyokushuzan. The new ozeki's record is 3 - 6. Higonoumi, who's never beat Takanohana kept his head down. He followed the yokozuna's move by immediately taking his belt everytime. Finally, he pushed the yokozuna down for his first win over him. Red cushions flew all over the gymnasium to react to the upset. That was followed by a fast moving bout by Wakanohana and Tamakasuga. Wakanohana was almost pushed out. He withheld as he was right on top of the rope, and leapt forward. Waka was able to push out Takamakusaga. But after this, it was announced that the yokozuna will be out of the tourney, because he's twisted his leg. 7 are tied for the lead with 2 losses.
Ohinode was taken out by Miyabiyama giving them both a 6 win 2 loss record. Tohki took aggressive action by slapping Chiyotenzan from time to time. Chiyotenzan backed off. But Tohki swung his arm too much that Chiyotenzan at a great timing pushed him out. An unusual technique was witnessed. Kotonishiki picked up Kyokushuzan and carried him out of the ring. Takahonami had his arm over Higonoumi, and appeared that he was taking a position he liked. But the ozeki lost balance. Higonoumi took advantage of it and threw him on the ring. Chiyotaikai moved quickly and pushed out Kotonowaka for his 3rd win. Something is wrong with Wakanohana. The yokozuna was walked out by Tochiazuma and marked his 4th loss. Tying for the lead with one loss are Chiyotaikai and Takanohana.
This day marked the 370th day in a row that the tourney in Osaka's attracted a sellout crowd. New makuuchi rikishi Ohinode defeated Chiyotenzan by throwing him on his knees. So there isn't anybody with a clean record with Chiyo's loss. Poor Kyokushuzan. He was given the winning call by the refree. But the judges claimed that his hand touched the ground first so the win was given to Kotonowaka. For the first time this tourney, all ozeki and yokozuna were victorious. 4 are in the leading pack with a loss each. They are Ohinode, Chiyotenzan, Takanonami and Takanohana.
Chiyotenzan continues to win. He pushed out Tochinonada. Kotonishiki shoved Chiyotaikai out. Chiyotaikai is with 5 losses. Shikishima stood up a bit early, and took a bow to apologize to Takanonami for that. Takanonami responded by raising his hand to say that it's all right. There's great discipline here. Once the bout took off, Takanonami took hold of Shikishima's belt and forced him out. Wakanohana defeated Terao by taking him out from behind. Takanohana walked out Kaio. 5 are in the runner up group with a loss each.
The sole leader, Chiyotenzan kept a perfect record by pushing out Kaiho. Miyabiyama fought against Tochinonada, a bout that surpassed 2 minutes. In the end, Tochinonada walked out the new makuuchi rikishi. Kaio stood up swiftly and attacked the heavy Musashimaru, and won. The ozeki is down to 3 wins 2 losses. Kaio is 4-1. Good looking wrestler Terao tried to attack Takanonami quickly. But his shoves were not effective that Takanonami threw him out of the ring. Tochiazuma and the new ozeki-- both 22 years old faced eachother. Chiyotaikai took off with thrusts after thrusts that appeared to push Tochiazuma further toward the edge of the ring. But in the end, was pushed out by Tochiazuma's counterattack. Chiyotaikai is with 4 losses already. Both yokozuna won this time.
Chiyotenzan, in the lower rankings of the highest division won his 4th bout against Oginishiki with an overarm throw. Miyabiyama thrusted out Aogiyama for his 3rd win. Chiyotaikai pushed forward this time against Shikishima. He at last won his first bout as ozeki. Wakanohana lost again. He was pushed down by Kyokushuzan. The yokozuna's record has worsened to a win and 3 losses. Tosanoumi pushed and pushed and got the longer ruling yokozuna tumbling down the ring. This upset got the audience throwing their red cushions toward the dirt packed ring. Since Takanohana succumbed to his first loss, Chiyotaikai is the only one in the makuuchi division with a perfect record.
Tohki thrusted Miyabiyama out of the ring. Miyabiyama succumbed to his first loss. The new ozeki this time, faced Kaio. Chiyotaikai was not able to push forward again and lost his 3rd straight bout. It's the first time in modern period that a new ozeki has failed to win any bout at this point. Kyokushuzan, who gave Musoyama a painful loss the day before performed great skill again. Although it was Takanonami who appeared to have control of the bout, the Mongolian reversed the action by an underarm throw. Both are with 2 wins and a loss. Kotonishiki moved with speed against Wakanohana. Wakanohana backed off. That caused him to lose the bout. It's the yokozuna's 2nd loss in a row. Takanohana and Musashimaru are the only champion class wrestlers who won.
Miyabiyama was energetic in his bout against Higonoumi. In the end, the new makuuchi rikishi defeated the veteran to an underarm throw. Musoyama lost to Mongolian Kyokushuzan's overarm shove. In that bout, Musoyama hurt his shoulder. He underwent medical examination and was told that he'd take more than 6 months to recover. Chiyotaikai again lost. This time, he was overpowered by Takatoriki's thrusts. Wakanohana was not up to it. He was pushed out by Tosanoumi. Takanohana really struggled against Tochiazuma. He tried to take Tochi out with one hand on the belt from time to time. They looked like 2 crabs walking along the edge of the ring at one point. But Tochiazuma finally lost the patience to bear the shoves, and was pushed out.
It was a warm spring day in Osaka, and the excited full house heated up the gymnasium even more. Miyabiyama made his makuuchi debut. So far, he's won the most bouts in every division he's wrestled in, or 4 tourneys in a row. He's ranked maegashira number 7 in his first attempt in the top division. With his hair still not long enough to tie up, he faced Wakanosato. Miyabiya won by taking his opponent out. A senior in the same Musashigawa stable, Musoyama was aggressive. He thrusted down Takatoriki. Ozeki Takanonami defeated Tosanoumi by throwing him out powerfully. Chiyotaikai's first grand tourney as ozeki, was another major attraction. He raced toward Dejima. He overdid it though. Dejima simply moved over and patted the new ozeki out. Another ozeki, Musashimaru had a good chance of defeating Akinoshima. They had eachother's belt and shoved for awhile with Aki close to the edge of the ring, Then Akinoshima turned the situation around, and pushed the over 220 kilo Hawaiian born out. Takanohana had a tough bout against Kotonishiki. Kotonishiki would not allow the yokozuna to grip his belt. They at one point were aiming at eachother's arm. But, at last, Takanohana's strong shove had Kotonishiki slipping his leg out. Wakanohana quickly defeated Kaio.
Pre Tourney highlights
Akebono is out again
Akebono made clear on Mar. 12 that he will miss this tourney too. It means it's the 3rd straight basho he's missing out or his total 11th. He said to reporters that a month of practice was not enough to put him back in shape.
Newcomers' application rises
On Mar.6, 103 sumo wrestler hopefuls tried out for the exam in Osaka. It's the first time since 1996 that the number of applicants surpassed 100. The reason for the increase is attributed to the difficulty of securing jobs in Japan because of the recession.