Sunday, February 25, 2007

Wow

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I can't wait to be there and see this live

Lon Howard, Fan Liaison Director at Sumo Fan Magazine, writes: The sumo tournaments, commonly called hon-basho, are held for 15 days each in the odd numbered months of the year, beginning on the Sunday nearest the 10th of the month, which is usually the second Sunday of the month. The complete schedule for the year can be found on the Nihon Sumo Kyokai's web site. If you don't see the schedule on the home page, just click on 'Ticket Information' and then on 'Grand Tournament Schedule.'

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Fourth day

Asashoryu stays unbeaten,
tied at the top


OSAKA (AP) Grand champion Asashoryu overpowered No. 3 megashira Iwakiyama on Wednesday to remain undefeated and tied for the lead at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament at Osaka Municipal Gymnasium.

Monday, March 13, 2006

First day

OSAKA (AP) Ozeki Tochiazuma kicked off his campaign for promotion to grand champion with a win over Roho on the opening day of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament.Again, I'll not be posting daily. Go to the sites I've provided.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Tochiazuma or Hakuho to shine in Osaka?

By MARK BUCKTON Special to The Japan Times Online
The March 12th to 26th Haru Basho looks like the make or break tournament for Tochiazuma of Tamanoi Beya in Tokyo's Adachi-ku.

As the sport's only Japanese ozeki with a real chance of now making yokozuna or even of seeing out 2006 in style, this is it -- crunch time!

Ozeki Tochiazuma goes up against visiting Iwakiyama of Sakaigawa Beya during an early morning practice session at Tamanoi Beya in this file photo from December.

Note from SamuRyan: I will not be posting day to day events of the basho, as they are all available through the links I have offered.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Schansspringen Torino afgelast wegens aardbeving

"Ski jumping in Torino canceled due to
earth quake."

Thanks,
Hagi for the picture and Johannes
for the translation.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Sumo! Sumo! Sumo!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Final Standings for New Year Tournament


WINNERS -------------------- LOSERS
Tamakasuga 12-3 ------------ Katayama 6-9
Buyuzan 10-5 --------------- Wakatoba 4-11
Ushiomaru 9-6 -------------- Tosanoumi 5-10
Kotoshogiku 8-7 ------------- Kitazakura 9-6
Kisenosato 8-7 -------------- Toyonoshima 7-8
Futeno 9-6 ------------------ Yoshikaze 5-10
Jumonji 7-8 ----------------- Shunketsu 4-11
Kakizoe 8-7 ---------------- Wakanosato 10-5
Kasugao 9-6 ---------------- Aminishiki 9-6
Toyozakura 7-8 -------------- Dejima 8-7
Kyokushuzan 7-8 ------------- Kasuganishiki 4-11
Tochinohana 4-11 ------------ Takekaze 4-11
Kokkai 8-7 ------------------ Takamisakari 7-8
Hokutoriki 12-3 ------------- Roho 9-6
Tokitenku 5-10 --------------- Hakurozan 4-11
Miyabiyama 8-7 -------------- Ama 9-6
Iwakiyama 8-7 --------------- Tamanoshima 7-8
Kyokutenho 4-11 ------------- Asasekiryu 5-10
Tokitsuumi 12-3 -------------- Kotomitsuki 8-7
Hakuho 13-2 ----------------- Kotooshu 10-5
Tochiazuma 14-1 -------------- Asashoryu 11-4

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Tochiazuma captures third Emperor's Cup title

Ozeki Tochiazuma captured his third career title after overpowering yokozuna Asashoryu on the final day of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Sunday.

Ozeki Tochiazuma defeats yokozuna Asashoryu with an upper-arm throw to clinch his third Emperor's Cup on the final day of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Tochiazuma, who won his first Emperor's Cup in 13 meets, quickly got a left-handed grip on Asashoryu's belt after the face-off and dumped the yokozuna to the dirt in the day's final bout to finish with an outstanding 14-1 mark at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

"I had to recover from my injury and really had to fight to come back. I have to thank all my fans. I had a lot of troubling times, but I plan to aim even higher from now," said Tochiazuma.

Tochiazuma came out this basho fighting relegation from his ozeki status after having to pull out of the Kyushu meet last November with an injury, but surpassed his wildest expectations with a tournament victory to start off the new year.

"I will aim toward making yokozuna. I promise to do my best from the next tournament," added the 29-year-old Tamanoi stable wrestler.

Asashoryu, who won all six titles in 2005, saw his hopes for an unprecedented eighth straight title shattered when he was mathematically left out of the running a day earlier, and he never regained his focus as he ended his campaign with a disappointing 11-4 mark.

The yokozuna was tripped up early in the 15-day meet, losing to Kokkai on the second day before falling to Mongolian wrestlers Hakuho and Ama and finally to Tochiazuma, showing his worst sumo in recent years.

Sekiwake Hakuho almost set up a championship playoff with the ozeki when he beat Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu in Sunday's penultimate bout, but the matchup was never to be.

Kotooshu came out as one of the top candidates to win the title but ended the basho with a less than impressive mark in his debut at sumo's second-highest rank. The ozeki never got started against Hakuho and was quickly tossed over the edge to a fifth defeat while the sekiwake improved to 13-2.

In other bouts, Hokutoriki, who won nine straight bouts from the opening day and claimed his third Fighting Spirit Prize, swatted down Russian wrestler Roho (9-6) immediately after the face-off.

The 11th-ranked maegashira was in the title race until the 14th day and finished his campaign with an impressive 12-3 mark.

Tokitsuumi (12-3), a 14th-ranked maegashira who had also been in contention, soaked up a violent charge from Kotomitsuki (8-7) and battled back to toss the sekiwake to the dirt surface. Tokitsuumi picked up his fourth career Technique Prize.

Mongolian little-man Ama (9-6) failed to get out of the raging path of Miyabiyama and was crushed, pushed over the edge to his sixth defeat while Miyabiyama ended on 8-7.

Sumo funny man Takamisakari was blown away with a series of shoves by Georgian Kokkai, falling to a losing mark of 7-8 while Kokkai posted his eighth win of the tournament.

Kitazakura (9-6) missed out on his first Fighting Spirit Prize when he was thrown down by a rampaging Kotoshogiku, who posted his eighth win.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Tochiazuma tops Hokutoriki, in line for third title

Ozeki Tochiazuma swatted Hokutoriki to keep his lead, moving him within shooting distance of his third career title while grand champion Asashoryu saw his dream for an eighth straight title shattered at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Saturday.

Ozeki Tochiazuma downs No. 11 maegashira Hokutoriki on the 14th day of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Tochiazuma kept Hokutoriki at bay with a salvo of shoves to the chest before pulling down the 11th-ranked maegashira in the penultimate bout at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan, improving his record to 13-1 and immediately knocking Asashoryu out of the running for the Emperor's Cup spoils.

Asashoryu won all six tournaments in 2005, but appears to have lost his luster this time out.

He was the heavy favorite to win his 16th career title but suffered defeats to Kokkai, sekiwake Hakuho and rank-and-filer Ama, injuring his right elbow in his bout against Hakuho.

In the day's finale, Asashoryu bounced back from his defeat of the previous day, controlling his bout against ozeki Kotooshu from start to finish. He dragged the ozeki-debutant around by the arm before tossing him to the clay to improve to an 11-3 mark. Kotooshu dropped to 10-4.

Tokitsuumi and Hakuho went head to head but the sekiwake got the better of his 14th-ranked maegashira opponent with a powerful overarm throw to stay in the running against Tochiazuma at 12-2. Tokitsuumi slipped to 11-3.

Hakuho will have to beat Kotooshu in his bout on the final day Sunday and hope that Tochiazuma loses his bout against Asashoryu to set up a playoff for the title.

Up until Saturday, six wrestlers had been in contention for the title, including Asashoryu, Tochiazuma, Kotooshu, Hakuho, Tokitsuumi and Hokutoriki.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Asashoryu suffers another setback

Tochiazuma dismantled Bulgarian fellow ozeki Kotooshu to take sole possession of the lead at 12-1 on Friday while Mongolian yokozuna Asashoryu was slammed to a third defeat by countryman Ama with two days remaining at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament.

With Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko looking on from the upper-level box seats, Tochiazuma never gave the ozeki debutant a chance to launch an attack as he steamrolled ahead and shoved his opponent over the edge with a salvo of slaps to the chest in the day's penultimate bout at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Tochiazuma, who came out this basho facing demotion, moved a step closer to capturing his third career title with sekiwake Hakuho and rank-and-filers Tokutsuumi and Hokutoriki trailing one off the pace at 11-2.

Asashoryu, who lost to Hakuho a day earlier, was tossed down like a rag doll immediately after the faceoff with an overarm throw, leaving him with a 10-3 mark along with Kotooshu and slim hopes of winning his eighth straight title with after claiming all six Emperor's Cups in 2005.

The yokozuna lost just six bouts in 2005 but has already suffered three defeats to start of the New Year.

Eleventh-ranked maegashira Hokutoriki (11-2) faced off in a rumble with Mongolian Hakuho but immediately backpedaled over the edge, slipping out of a share the lead.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Hakuho battles back to hand Asa second defeat

Mongolian yokozuna Asashoryu was handed a second shock defeat at the hands of countryman Hakuho on Thursday, causing mayhem with just three days remaining at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament.
In the day's finale, Asashoryu appeared to have the sekiwake on the ropes when he pushed him immediately to the edge after the face-off at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

But Hakuho made a last-gasp maneuver on the edge, cranking the yokozuna's arm and flipping him into the ringside seats, leaving Asashoryu trailing leading duo ozeki Tochiazuma and rank-and-filer Hokutoriki, who improved to 11-1.

"I was able to hold on till the end. I tried to stay calm and I will just keep my concentration on the final three days," said Hakuho, who stayed in contention tied with Asashoryu at 10-2.

Though coming out the favorite to capture his eighth straight title after winning all six crowns in 2005, Asashoryu now faces an uphill battle against five hungry contenders in the remaining days.

Tochiazuma, who is aiming for his third career title after shrugging off relegation this time out, made quick work of Mongolian little-man Ama (7-5), who tried to stay low out of the crouch only to be swatted forward onto his hands and knees.

Bulgarian ozeki-debutant Kotooshu (10-2) also kept his title hopes alive with a strong victory over Iwakiyama (5-7).

The ozeki grappled at the ring's center with the No. 5 maegashira before using his trademark overarm throw to slam his opponent to the clay.

In his excitement, 11th-ranked maegashira Hokutoriki made four false starts before executing a "henka" maneuver after the face-off and slapping down Georgian Kokkai, who fell to 6-6.

Tokitsuumi, a 14th-ranked maegashira, moved quickly to his left after the face-off and got a grip on Russian Roho's belt before dragging his opponent to a fourth defeat to improve to 10-2.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Asa maintains after boxing Iwakiyama

Grand Champion Asashoryu overpowered Iwakiyama on Wednesday to share the lead with Hokutoriki and Tochiazuma at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament.

Ozeki Tochiazuma pulls down Kokkai on the 11th day of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Mongolian Asashoryu had his hands full with the bulky No. 5 maegashira in the day's final bout at Ryogoku Kokugikan but eventually prevailed when he waltzed Iwakiyama out to improve to 10-1.

Iwakiyama, one of the biggest wrestlers in sumo, pushed Asashoryu a few steps back after the faceoff but couldn't sustain the pressure and dropped to 5-6.

Asashoryu, the only grand champion competing in sumo, won all six tournaments last year and is gunning for a record eighth straight Emperor's Cup.

In an earlier bout, No. 11 maegashira Hokutoriki overpowered Kitazakura to stay tied for the lead at 10-1. Kitazakura, a No. 17 maegashira, dropped to 8-3.

Ozeki Tochiazuma also maintained his share of the lead at 10-1 when he swatted down No, 2 maegashira Kokkai at the center of the ring.

Kokkai, who started off the tournament with upset wins over Asashoryu and Kotooshu, appeared to lose his footing while attempting to make an arm thrust and fell to 6-5.

Newly-promoted ozeki Kotooshu got both hands on the belt of Hakurozan and lifted the hapless No. 4 maegashira over the straw ridge to improve to 9-2. Russian Hakurozan dropped to 3-8.

Mongolian Hakuho hauled down fellow sekiwake Kotomitsuki to improve to 9-2. Kotomitsuki fell to 7-4.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Asashoryu fends off tough challenge to grab share of lead

Grand champion Asashoryu defeated Kotomitsuki on Tuesday to grab a share of the lead heading into the final stretch of the 15-day meet at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo.

Yokozuna Asashoryu pulls down komusubi Kyokutenho during their bout at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Asashoryu's win moved him into a strong position for a record eighth straight Emperor's Cup, joining ozeki Tochiazuma and dark horse Hokutoriki in a three-way tie at 9-1 as the race for the championship heats up.

Tochiazuma rebounded from Monday's defeat to Miyabiyama with a win over Iwakiyama but 11th-ranked Hokutoriki surrendered pole position after suffering his first loss of the tournament.

Asashoryu, winner of all six tournaments in 2005, was given the fright of his life as Kotomitsuki (7-3) matched the yokozuna blow for blow after the tachiai in the day's finale at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

But the Mongolian magician pulled a rabbit out of his hat and claimed victory by toppling the sekiwake with a beltless arm throw.

Tochiazuma also dodged a bullet in his bout with Iwakiyama (5-5), and had to pull of a balancing act on the straw ridge to yank the No. 5 maegashira down to the dirt.

In other matches, Bulgarian Kotooshu stayed in the hunt for a first title, securing a winning mark on his ozeki debut after making mincemeat out of Kasuganishiki (4-6).

Kotooshu's eighth win keeps him in a chasing pack of four wrestlers on 8-2, including sekiwake Hakuho, who ground out a hard-fought win over Miyabiyama.

But Russian No. 2 maegashira Roho's title hopes suffered a blow after he was chased out of the ring by Mongolian Ama, leaving both men on 7-3

Georgian No. 2 maegashira Kokkai, who handed Asashoryu his only defeat of the tournament so far, burst out of his blocks and stunned Kakizoe with a barrage of thrusts to post his sixth win.

Seventh-ranked Kakizoe is also 6-4.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Hokutoriki plows Aminishiki to win ninth

Surprise package Hokutoriki beat Aminishiki to emerge as the sole leader with a ninth victory while grand champion Asashoryu continued to circle like a shark at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday.

No. 11 Maegashira Hokutoriki sends No. 7 maegashira Aminishiki out of the ring on the ninth day of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday.

Record-chasing Asashoryu shot down Russian maegashira Hakurozan to remain one win behind Hokutoriki at 8-1, but ozeki Tochiazuma lost his first bout of the 15-day meet after an upset defeat to Miyabiyama.

No. 11 maegashira Hokutoriki was never in danger of surrendering his share of the overnight lead, elbowing Aminishiki (4-5) to the ring's edge before sending him out with a fierce neck thrust.

Meanwhile, Asashoryu, who won all six tournaments in 2005, stayed firmly on course for an unprecedented eighth straight Emperor's Cup at the New Year meet by bulldozing out Hakurozan (2-7) without much of a serious threat.

Injury-plagued Tochiazuma came into the New Year meet with his rank on the line, but he secured ozeki status for the spring basho in March on Sunday.

Even so, he was always on the defensive against top-ranked Miyabiyama (5-4), who dug deep after a mid-ring slapfest and barged the ozeki out.

Elsewhere, newly promoted Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu, the only other ozeki still standing in the New Year meet, got both hands on Asasekiryu's belt and promptly marched him out to record a seventh win. Mongolian Asasekiryu dropped to 2-7.

Troubled Kaio (3-6) became the latest ozeki to join the casualty list when he pulled out of the tournament after aggravating a lower back injury and forfeited his bout with Mongolian sekiwake Hakuho (7-2).

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Asashoryu dominates in a flash, stays one back

Grand champion Asashoryu took apart Tochinohana to stay in hot pursuit of front-running duo Tochiazuma and Hokutoriki at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo on Sunday.

Yokozuna Asashoryu shoves out Tochinohana at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo.

Asashoryu was all business in the day's finale at Ryogoku Kokugikan and needed only a matter of seconds to dispose of the third-ranked maegashira with a series of powerful shoves.

Asashoryu, who is one win off the pace at 7-1, won all six tournaments in 2005 and is chasing an unprecedented eighth Emperor's Cup at the New Year meet.

Tochiazuma (8-0) sent Mongolian sekiwake Hakuho (6-2) flying out of the ring after a clash of heads at the tachi-ai and was awarded the win as Hakuho's heel appeared to touch the sand outside the ring before both men went crashing into the ringside cushions.

Injury-plagued Tochiazuma came into the New Year meet with his rank on the line, but his eighth win ensured him ozeki status at the spring basho in March.

Newly-promoted ozeki Kotooshu (6-2) also won handsomely, wrapping both arms around top-ranked Tokitenku (1-7) to send him out from behind, but struggling ozeki Chiyotaikai dropped out and Kaio was handed another embarrassing defeat.

Takekaze (2-6) piled more misery on Kaio when he floored the troubled ozeki with a hand pull-down technique and condemned him to a fifth defeat.

Kaio withdrew, citing a back injury.

Ozeki Chiyotaikai (4-4) pulled out earlier in the day after sustaining a chest injury and forfeited his scheduled bout against Russian maegashira Roho (6-2).

Chiyotaikai damaged muscles in the right side of his chest and suffered a cervical vertebrae sprain in Friday's defeat to komusubi Tamanoshima and will need a month to fully recover. That defeat was followed by another loss to Miyabiyama.

Sekiwake Kotomitsuki was two wins off the pace at 6-2 after slam-dunking Mongolian fourth-ranked maegashira Asasekiryu, who fell to 2-6.

In earlier bouts, No. 11 maegashira Hokutoriki slapped about Futeno (4-4) before barging out the eighth-ranked wrestler to secure a winning record and stay in a tie for the lead with Tochiazuma at 8-0.

"I think I'm getting in well and hitting hard, and I'm pleased (to get a winning record)," said Hokutoriki.

Colorful maegashira Takamisakari won a huge round of applause after forcing seventh-ranked Kakizoe (6-2) on to his knees with an "uwatenage" overarm throw to collect his fifth win.

"There are still seven bouts to go, and I will focus on doing my best in each and every bout," said Takamisakari.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Asashoryu wins, stays one off pace

Grand champion Asashoryu overpowered Tokitenku on Saturday to remain one win behind co-leaders Tochiazuma and Hokutoriki at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament.

Ozeki Tochiazuma slams down No. 3 maegashira Takekaze to stay undefeated with a 7-0 record Saturday at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

In the day's final bout at Ryogoku Kokugikan, Mongolian Asashoryu had his hands full against the determined top maegahsira but finally prevailed when he used an arm throw to send Tokitenku sprawling to the dirt surface.

Asashoryu, who improved to 6-1, won all six tournaments last year and is gunning for a record eighth straight Emperor's Cup in the New Year tourney. Tokitenku dropped to 1-6.

Ozeki Tochiazuma, who needs a winning record to maintain his status, held on to his share of the lead at 7-0 after swatting down third-ranked maegashira Takekaze, who fell to 1-6.

Mongolian Hakuho relinquished his share of the lead when he stepped out in a bout with third-ranked maegashira Tochinohana.

Sekiwake Hakuho was pushed back after the faceoff and stepped out with his left foot to fall to 6-1. Tochinohana improved to 2-5.

Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu muscled out winless komusubi Kyokutenho after forcing the Mongolian to the edge of the ring shortly after the faceoff.

Kotooshu, who was promoted to sumo's second highest rank in November, picked up his fifth win against a pair of losses.

In an earlier bout, No. 11 maegashira Hokutoriki forced out 15th-ranked Wakatoba to remain tied for the lead at 7-0. Wakatoba dropped to 2-5.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Asashoryu picks up fifth win of basho

Grand champion Asashoryu of Mongolia defeated compatriot Kyokutenho on Friday to remain one win off the pace at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament. In the day's final bout at Ryogoku Kokugikan, Asashoryu twisted down winless komusubi Koyokutenho to improve to 5-1. Ozeki Tochiazuma, Mongolian Hakuho and rank-and-filer Hokutoriki share the lead at 6-0.

Asashoryu won all six tournaments last year and is gunning for a record eighth straight Emperor's Cup in the New Year tourney.

In other major bouts, Bulgarian Kotooshu, who is making his ozeki debut, bounced back from Thursday's loss to Kokkai with a hard-fought win over Miyabiyama.

Kotooshu got a hold of Miyabiyama's belt shortly after the faceoff and used his weight advantage to topple the top maegashira while picking up his fourth win against two losses. Miyabiyama stands at 2-4.

Tochiazuma barely broke a sweat and remained perfect when he forced out No. 3 maegashira Tochinohana, who was handed his fifth loss.

Sekiwake Hakuho also stayed undefeated at 6-0 when he overpowered No. 2 maegashira Kokkai, who dropped to 3-3 in the 15-day tournament.

Kokkai defeated Asashoryu and Kotooshu earlier in the tournament but couldn't pull off another upset against the determined Mongolian.

Hokutoriki, a No. 11 maegashira, shoved out 13th-ranked Tochisakae to maintain a share of the lead at 6-0.

No. 7 maegashira Kakizoe shoved Hakurozan out to improve to 5-1 while handing the struggling fourth-ranked maegashira his fifth loss.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Kokkai hands Kotooshu second defeat

Giant-killer Kokkai of Georgia claimed another scalp Thursday when he bashed up Kotooshu to condemn the newly promoted ozeki to his second defeat at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament.

Georgia's No. 2 maegashira Kokkai unleashes a neck throw to ozeki Kotooshu to hand him second loss of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo.

There was no such surprise in store for record-hungry yokozuna Asashoryu, however, as the fiery Mongolian outclassed Russian Roho in the day's finale at Ryogoku Kokugikan to sit one win off the early pace at 4-1.

Injury-plagued ozeki Tochiazuma further eased relegation fears with a win over Kyokutenho (0-5) and shares the lead at 5-0 with Mongolian Hakuho, and rank-and-filers Hokutoriki and Tokitsuumi.

Asashoryu, stunned by Kokkai on Monday, put on a sumo clinic and after breaking free from a midring stalemate, dumped Roho (3-2) in the front row of ringside cushions with a clinical two-handed leg tip-over technique.

Asashoryu won all six titles last year and remains the hot favorite to clinch an unprecedented eighth straight Emperor's Cup here but Kotooshu was left dazed after his title hopes were hit with another reverse.

Fresh from his victory over Kaio on Wednesday, second-ranked Kokkai, whose ring name means Black Sea, steamed into Kotooshu and repeatedly yanked at the ozeki in a fierce battle between eastern European wrestlers.

Kokkai stood firm and added Kotooshu to his list of victims when he finished him off with a twisting head throw to leave both men with 3-2 records.

In other key bouts, Tochiazuma turned the tables on Kyokutenho to retain his share of the lead and move within three wins of the eight he needs to retain his rank, while Kaio rebounded from Wednesday's loss and forced out winless komusubi Tamanoshima to post a second win.

Chiyotaikai needed to do little more than flex his muscles to see off Mongolian No. 1 maegashira Tokitenku (1-4) to complete a triumphant day for Japanese ozeki.

Mongolian Hakuho produced a quick-fire force-out over Russian No. 4 maegashira Hakurozan to preserve his flawless record, 14th-ranked Tokitsuumi made it five wins out of five by overpowering Katayama (1-4) and 11th-ranked Hokutoriki ousted Tosanoumi (3-2).

Kotomitsuki (3-2) was unable to match sekiwake teammate Hakuho's performance and was hauled down to a second defeat at the hands of former ozeki Miyabiyama (2-3).

Earlier, former amateur grand champion Yoshikaze finally got in the winning column on his top flight debut as he barged out Kyokushuzan (2-3).

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Asashoryu, Kotooshu still on track after victories

Mongolian grand champion Asashoryu and newly promoted Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu improved their records with comfortable wins at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Wednesday.

Sekiwake Hakuho takes the arm of komusubi Tamanoshima and forces him out of the ring at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Asashoryu barely broke sweat in barging third-ranked maegashira Takekaze out of the ring in a matter of seconds for his second straight win after suffering an upset defeat at the hands of Kokkai on the second day.

Asashoryu, who is aiming for an unprecedented eighth straight Emperor's Cup, is one win behind the four early co-leaders in the 15-day meet at Ryogoku Kokugikan. Takekaze dropped to 1-3.

Kotooshu matched Asashoryu at 3-1 after slapping down No. 3 maegashira Tochinohana (1-3), whose defensive tactics kept the ozeki at bay early on but eventually was caught off-balance and crumbled down to the surface in the middle of the ring.

Tochiazuma came within four wins of retaining his ozeki rank following a tactically superb bout that prevented Russian No. 2 maegashira Roho from holding the belt en route to a force-out victory. Tochiazuma stayed perfect at 4-0 while Roho is 3-1.

Fellow ozeki Chiyotaikai (3-1) did not repeat his mistake in Tuesday's loss to Takekaze, unleashing a relentless string of slaps to the chest of Hakurozan (1-3) straight from the face-off and forced the Russian No. 4 maegashira over the straw ridge.

Veteran ozeki Kaio, wrestling with a lower back injury, was unable to withhold an initial charge by No. 2 maegashira Kokkai and backpedaled out of the ring in a lopsided bout. Georgian Kokkai, who upset Asashoryu on Monday, improved to 2-2.

Sekiwake returnee Hakuho extended his winning streak to four with an easy win over winless komusubi Tamanoshima, who was dragged down onto the dirt by the Mongolian's powerful arm-lock technique.

Sekiwake Kotomitsuki bounced back from his loss Tuesday to pick up his third win with a belt-grip twist that sent Mongolian-born komusubi Kyokutenho to his fourth defeat in a row.

In other bouts, crowd favorite Takamisakari evened his record to 2-2 against veteran Kyokushuzan (2-2).

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Asashoryu bounces back

Yokozuna Asashoryu rebounded from an upset loss to post his second win at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Tuesday, while newly promoted ozeki Kotooshu won his second straight following an opening-day defeat.

Ozeki Tochiazuma pulls down No. 4 maegashira Hakurozan to stay undefeated at 3-0 in the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan on Tuesday.

Asashoryu put his defeat at the hands of Kokkai behind him and wasted no time in shoving his way to crushing top-ranked Miyabiyama (1-2) at Ryogoku Kokugikan, leaving him one win behind the pace in his bid for an unprecedented eighth straight Emperor's Cup.

Kotooshu (2-1) appeared to have come back to winning ways with a solid win against winless komusubi Tamanoshima.

The Bulgarian giant, who began his ozeki campaign with a loss to Russian Roho on Sunday, sidestepped to the left at the face-off and then took the belt firmly before shrugging off a leg-trip attempt to finish off the bout with an uwatenage upper-arm throw.

Tochiazuma stayed on course to retain his ozeki rank with a little help from Russian fourth-ranked maegashira Hakurozan, who slipped when he tried to charge forward and crumbled to the sandy surface with a simple push.

With a 3-0 start, Tochiazuma needs at least five more wins to avoid a drop from the second-highest rank in sumo. Hakurozan is 1-2.

It was a bad day for veteran ozeki duo Kaio and Chiyotaikai.

Kaio suffered his second loss in the 15-day meet after showing little resistance to an initial charge from third-ranked maegashira Tochinohana (1-2) and backpedaling out of the ring, with his arm-lock throw proving too little, too late.

Chiyotaikai was bulldozed out of the ring in a matter of seconds and fell to his first loss after allowing No. 3 maegashira Takekaze (1-2) to capitalize on the ozeki's poor attempt to yank him down.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Asashoryu suffers loss

Mongolian grand champion Asashoryu fell to a first defeat at the hands of Kokkai on Monday while newly promoted Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu brushed aside an opening day loss, disposing of Takekaze at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament.

No. 2 Maegashira Kokkai drops yokozuna Asashoryu to the ground at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan on Monday.

In the day's finale, Georgian No. 2 maegashira Kokkai got his hands on the yokozuna's belt and ushered him to the ring's edge before toppling him over with a strong one-handed shove to the chest, causing the crowd to erupt in cheers at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

"After I got my hands on his belt I just kept moving forward. That's all I could think about," said Kokkai, who improved to 1-1.

Asashoryu, who is gunning for an unprecedented eighth straight title after winning all six basho last year, slipped to 1-1 and with the upset has put himself in a tie one off the pace with Kotooshu, leaving the 15-day competition up for grabs after only the second day of action.

Kotooshu (1-1), who was promoted to sumo's second-highest rank after the Kyushu meet last November, took control from start to finish, charging out of the crouch before ramming his No. 3 maegashira opponent into the ringside seats. Takekaze slipped to 0-2.

The 203-cm wrestler [6'6"], who reached ozeki in just 19 meets, appears to have regained his focus after his defeat to Russian Roho on Sunday and has high expectations to stay in contention in the title race in a showdown with the yokozuna this time out.

In other key bouts, Chiyotaikai (2-0) steamrolled over Tochinohana (0-2) with a salvo of thrusts and slaps to stay on the pace in a share of the lead while fellow ozeki Tochiazuma (2-0) bulldozed komusubi Tamanoshima (0-2) in a matter of seconds to move a step closer to easing his relegation worries.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Asashoryu stays in control at New Year

Yokozuna Asashoryu kicked off 2006 with a routine win, but Bulgarian bulldozer Kotooshu made a nightmare start on his ozeki debut after a shock loss to Roho on the opening day of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Sunday.

Roho flips ozeki Kotooshu to the ground on the opening day of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Asashoryu, who won all six titles last year, continued where he left off in 2005, making mincemeat out of Tamanoshima, but Kaio was defeated at the hands of Miyabiyama in another upset for ozeki at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Asashoryu never looked in danger in the day's finale, and the fiery Mongolian got a firm grip on both his opponent's arms before sending him to the dirt with a well-worked pulling overarm throw.

While Asashoryu is the undoubted favorite to cart home an unprecedented eighth straight Emperor's Cup, the spotlight here is firmly fixed on Kotooshu, whose meteoric rise to sumo's second-highest rank comes after just 19 meets.

But Kotooshu, who recently revealed his hobby growing up was baking cakes soaked in caramel, choked on the pressure, and second-ranked Roho turned the gentle giant into fudge by flooring him with an overarm throw.

"I just wanted to keep him off the left side of my belt, and everything went as planned," said Roho.

"Ozeki are strong, but so am I. I wanted to start the year with a win, and it was important not to allow my opponent to take the initiative."

Despite the defeat, the meet is still likely to be a showdown between Asashoryu and Kotooshu, with usual suspects Kaio, Chiyotaikai and Tochiazuma, who is in danger of losing his rank for the sixth time, each struggling somewhere in the mix.

Tochiazuma began his battle against the drop by barging out top-ranked maegashira Tokitenku to post the first of eight wins he needs to preserve his ozeki rank.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Interesting sumo site

Why is sumo so funny?

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Miss sumo?

Six tournaments are held every year. Each one lasts 15 days. Three of the tournaments are held in Tokyo, and one each in Fukuoka, Osaka and Nagoya. The 2006 January Grand Sumo Tournament begins Sunday January 8th and ends Sunday January 22nd, in Tokyo.This is the thirteenth consecutive tournament, dating from the 2004 January Grand Sumo Tournament, in which Asashoryu is the only yokozuna appearing on the "banzuke" or official listing of rank. This extends his own record for the longest run in this position since the title of yokozuna became an official rank in February 1909. In second place with eleven consecutive tournaments as the only yokozuna listed is Akebono (the sixty-fourth yokozuna).

Monday, November 28, 2005

Final Scores

Winners.....................Losers
Kitazakura 8-7.........Tochinonada 7-8
Katayama 7-8...........Tokitsuumi 9-6
Jumonji 9-6..............Wakatoba 5-10
Kyokushuzan 7-8......Kasugao 8-7
Shunketsu 6-9..........Takamisakari 7-8
Toyonoshima 7-8......Kasuganishiki 9-6
Tochinohana 11-4.....Kotoshogiku 6-9
Kokkai 9-6................Tosanoumi 5-10
Asasekiryu 9-6..........Aminishiki 7-8
Hakurozan 10-5........Kisenosato 5-10
Takekaze 9-6............Miyabiyama 10-5
Iwakiyama 7-8..........Dejima 5-10
Futeno 3-8-4............Kakizoe 4-11
Ama 7-8..................Hokutoriki 2-13
Roho 10-5...............Tamanoshima 8-7
Hakuho 9-6.............Tokitenku 10-5
Kyokutenho 8-7......Kotomitsuki 8-7
Kaio 10-5...............Kotooshu 11-4
Asashoryu 14-1......Chiyotaikai 11-4

Final Day

Yokozuna Asashoryu receives the Prime Minister's Cup from Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on the final day of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.

Asashoryu closes Kyushu with another win

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Record-breaking yokozuna Asashoryu celebrated an unprecedented seventh straight Emperor's Cup win by beating up ozeki Chiyotaikai on the final day of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Sunday.

A day after clinching the title, the 25-year-old Mongolian magician looked stunned as Chiyotaikai (11-4) locked him up at the charge with a firm grip on his throat in the day's finale at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.

But Asashoryu came roaring back and wrapped his opponent up with a bear hug and bounced him out to wrap up the basho with his 84th win of the year and a 14-1 record.

Asashoryu, who has lost just six bouts in 2005, also set a new record of 84 wins in a year. On Friday, he surpassed the previous record of 82 set by former yokozuna Kitanoumi in 1978.

The lone yokozuna in the top flight is also the first wrestler to win all six tournaments in a single year. His 15th career title put him in fifth place on the all-time list.

Meanwhile, Kotooshu, who on Friday got revenge on Asashoryu after losing out in a championship playoff in the autumn meet, was no match against local favorite Kaio.

Kaio (10-5) swung the Bulgarian around and down to the delight of home fans but Kotooshu can take comfort from the fact that his 11-4 showing has assured him a move up the sumo ladder to the second-highest rank of ozeki for the next meet.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Day 14

Yokozuna Asashoryu receives prize money after clinching his record seventh straight Emperor's Cup at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament in Fukuoka on Saturday.

Asashoryu claims record 7th straight Emperor's Cup

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Mongolian grand champion Asashoryu made sumo history on Saturday when he defeated ozeki Kaio to become the first wrestler to capture seven consecutive Emperor's Cups by winning the title at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.

The fiery Mongolian bounced back from Friday's shock defeat to Kotooshu and coolly forced out Kaio (9-5) before his eyes quickly welled up with tears after the penultimate-day win at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.

"I've done it," Asashoryu said in an emotional post-match interview. "As soon as I got forward I felt I'd won it. I just had to stay calm and something inside me kept pushing me.

"As a wrestler, to win today was more important than anything else," he said.

Asashoryu (13-1), who has lost only six bouts in 2005, also set a new record of 83 wins in a year, surpassing the previous record of 82 set by former yokozuna Kitanoumi in 1978.

The 25-year-old from Ulan Bator, who equaled the Kitanoumi's 82-win mark on Thursday, is also the first wrestler to win all six tournaments in a single year.

Kotooshu, who lost in a playoff to Asashoryu in the autumn meet, proved he is a worthy candidate for ozeki promotion when he sent Chiyotaikai sprawling to knock the ozeki out of the title race and leave both men on 11-3.

Elsewhere, komusubi Hakuho (8-6) could do little to stop former ozeki Dejima (5-9) from barging him out for a sixth defeat, while sekiwake Kotomitsuki (8-6) was also helpless as Kokkai cranked out an eighth win with a beltless arm throw.

World Sumo Championships

Wrestlers take part in the World Sumo Championships tournament in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, on Oct. 16. Sumo wrestlers from 30 countries participated.

Foreign sumo aspirants' numbers kept in check by stable quota policy

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) As the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament currently being held in Fukuoka enters its final days, foreign wrestlers have again stolen the spotlight.

Much of the focus of the 15-day event, which began Nov. 13, was on whether yokozuna Asashoryu from Mongolia would win a record seventh straight Emperor's Cup and whether Bulgarian sekiwake Kotooshu would rack up enough wins to reach the rank of ozeki.

But although there is a steady stream of young athletes from Mongolia, Europe and the former Soviet Union eager to enter the world of sumo, the Japan Sumo Association is adamantly sticking to its policy of allowing only one foreigner per stable and opposes opening the door fully to wrestlers from overseas.

At the 13th world sumo tournament held in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, on Oct. 16, wrestlers from 30 countries and territories took part, and Davaa Batsaikhan, 29, brother of Mongolian maegashira Kyokushuzan, worked hard to tout his countrymen to the sumo association.

"He's 17 years old, 193 cm tall and weighs 145 kg. His father was a former sekiwake in Mongolian sumo. He wants to be a sumo wrestler. Is there any stable that might accept him?" Batsaikhan asked an association official.

Tsertsvadze Avtandil and Gorgadze Levan, both from the former Soviet republic of Georgia, are also eager to get in the ring. They trained at the Sumo Club at Nihon University in Tokyo for more than a week before the tournament.

The sumo association accepted six Mongolians, including Kyokushuzan, in 1992 but did not take in any foreigners for the next six years. Then the association let two foreigners into each stable until the total number of foreign wrestlers reached 40 in 2002, when it decided on its one-foreigner-per-stable policy.

This year's fall tournament in Kyushu has 59 wrestlers from 12 countries participating. When the tournament began, only four out of 54 stables had no foreigners on the roster after a Georgian at one stable passed the screening test to become a wrestler on opening day. The remaining four stables have said they have no intention of accepting foreigners. In other words, the quota for foreign wrestlers is effectively full.

There are pros and cons to the current quota system. Hidetoshi Tanaka, chairman of the International Sumo Federation, supports it, claiming: "The door is fully open as there are more than 50 foreign sumo wrestlers. It is not a good thing to accept everybody."

But some federation officials say the quota runs contrary to the efforts of the federation, which has been trying to make sumo a more popular sport overseas.

Liliana Kaneva, chairman of the Bulgaria Sumo Federation, which discovered Kotooshu, said, "Everyone wants to follow in Kotooshu's steps. It is better to open the door."

The vast majority of sumo officials, however, support restricting the entry of foreigners.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Day 13

BULGARIAN SEKIWAKE Kotooshu gives a hand to Asashoryu after giving the Mongolian yokozuna the first loss of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament in Fukuoka on Friday. Promotion to ozeki all but assured after force-out victory in third bout.

Kotooshu gets win against Asashoryu

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Bulgarian sekiwake Kotooshu exacted swift revenge over rampant grand champion Asashoryu on Friday by handing the Mongolian his first defeat on the 13th day of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament in Fukuoka.

Kotooshu (10-3) erased the painful memory of his playoff defeat to the bruiser from Ulan Bator at the autumn meet in September as he stood firm at the charge and overpowered the yokozuna (12-1) at the edge to all but guarantee promotion to ozeki.

The win also gave fresh hope to ozeki Chiyotaikai (11-2) who sits one win off the pace after winning an all-ozeki battle against Kaio.

Given their history and Asashoryu's recent dominance, especially in Fukuoka, Kotooshu was obviously pleased with his efforts.

"I lost twice to him (Asashoryu) last time so badly wanted to win this one," said Kotooshu.

The key to thw win, Kotooshu added, was an aggressive and unrelenting style. "I was able to go on attack and wrestle the way I wanted to so I'm delighted. I think I've been able to relax a bit since I got a winning record," added the 22-year-old pin-up.

Kotooshu also denied Asashoryu the chance to set a new record of 83 wins in a year, surpassing the 82 that equaled the previous record set by former yokozuna Kitanoumi in 1978.

Chiyotaikai stayed in contention with a surprisingly easy win over ozeki rival Kaio. He quickly took control and got behind Kaio (9-4) after the charge before squashing his opponent to the dirt with a routine shove.

Komusubi Hakuho huffed and puffed but could not find a way past former ozeki Miyabiyama (9-4) and went down in installments at the edge of the ring to drop to 8-5.

But sekiwake Kotomitsuki outlasted Futeno to secure an eighth win, slapping the stubborn No. 2 maegashira before thrusting him out of the ring.

In other bouts, sumo jester Takamisakari's (7-6) bark proved bigger than his bite again and he was denied a winning record for the second day in a row after being dumped to defeat by Russian maegashira Hakurozan (9-4).

Roho (9-4) completed a winning double for the Russian siblings in sumo's top flight when he followed up his younger brother's win with an equally impressive slap-down victory over Jumonji (8-5).

Georgian No. 6 maegashira Kokkai (7-6), the first European wrestler to grace the elite makuuchi division, edged toward a winning record by forcing out 12th-ranked Wakatoba (5-8).

Meanwhile, the tournament ended on a sad note for gentle giant Kotonowaka, who was saddled with a losing 5-8 record with a defeat to 13th-ranked Shunketsu in his last bout as an active rikishi.

The towering 37-year-old, who retired to take over his stable from father-in-law Sadogatake, wiped away a stream of tears and struggled for words before thanking his fans for all the support he has received during his 21-year career.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Day 12

Sekiwake Kotooshu pushes out komusubi Hakuho on the 12th day of action at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament in Fukuoka.

Asashoryu nears Kyushu title

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Mongolian grand champion Asashoryu equaled a 27-year-old record with a classy win over Kotomitsuki on Thursday to remain in total control at 12-0 at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.

Asashoryu, who has lost only five bouts in 2005, matched the record of 82 wins in a year set by former yokozuna Kitanoumi in 1978 in the day's finale at Fukuoka Kokusai Center and preserved his flawless record.

After treating Kotomitsuki to a dance around the center of the ring, he got both arms around the sekiwake and condemned him to fifth defeat with a well-timed overarm throw.

Asashoryu and Kitanoumi share the record with five tournament titles in a year. A victory here in Fukuoka will make the 25-year-old from Ulan Bator the only wrestler ever to win all six meets in a year.

Meanwhile, ozeki Chiyotaikai stayed in touch with the leader at 10-2 after twisting Aminishiki (5-7) down to the sandy surface, while local favorite Kaio was another win off the pace.

His ozeki status preserved after Wednesday's win over teenager Kisenosato, Kaio barely broke sweat in bulldozing out Mongolian Ama (5-7) to join Kotooshu and Tochinohana on 9-3.

Bulgarian sekiwake Kotooshu (9-3) took another major stride toward promotion to sumo's second rank of ozeki, forcing out Mongolian komusubi Hakuho (8-4) at the second attempt after ringside judges could not decide on a winner in the first bout.

In the autumn tourney in September, Kotooshu lost to Asashoryu in a championship playoff but finished with an impressive 13-2 record.

Japan Sumo Association Chairman Kitanoumi has said the 22-year-old needs at least 10 wins this time out to be considered for promotion to ozeki.

Crowd favorite Takamisakari (7-5) was made to wait another day to post a winning record and his defeat to former ozeki Miyabiyama was met with a collective groan from his adoring fans.

The ninth-ranked maegashira could not escape the clutches of Miyabiyama, who bundled out Takamisakari for his eighth victory.

In the lower ranks, Tochinohana continued his impressive return to the elite makuuchi division, forcing out towering maegashira Kotonowaka (5-7) for his ninth win.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Day 11

Sekiwake Kotooshu pushes sixth-ranked maegashira Kokkai out of the ring on the 11th day of the Grand Sumo Tournament in Kyushu.

Asashoryu tops Tamanoshima, stays undefeated

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Mongolian grand champion Asashoryu survived a scare to maintain his perfect record entering the final stretch of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Wednesday.

Asashoryu (11-0) stayed on track for an unprecedented seventh straight Emperor's Cup after withstanding the threat from Tamanoshima at the edge of the ring before toppling the top-ranked maegashira with a sudden burst of power at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.

Asashoryu uncharacteristically backpedaled straight from the face-off but did not allow Tamanoshima (6-5) to add the finishing touch while getting inside with a right-hand belt grip and twisting him down on his back.

Asashoryu, who has lost only five bouts this year, is now one win away from matching the record of 82 wins in a year set by former yokozuna Kitanoumi in 1978.

Asashoryu and Kitanoumi share the record with five tournament titles in a year. A victory here in Fukuoka will make the 25-year-old from Ulan Bator the only wrestler ever to win all six meets in a year.

Bulgarian sekiwake Kotooshu rebounded from his loss Tuesday to top-ranked maegashira Tamanoshima to beat Kokkai for his eighth win and stay in the hunt for promotion to sumo's second-highest rank.

After a fierce exchange of slaps, Kotooshu seized control of the match with a belt grip and crouched forward to shove out his opponent from the former Soviet republic of Georgia.

In the autumn tourney in September, Kotooshu lost to Asashoryu in a championship playoff but finished with an impressive 13-2 record. Japan Sumo Association Chairman Kitanoumi has said the 22-year-old needs at least 10 wins this time out to be considered for promotion to ozeki.

In other key bouts, ozeki Chiyotaikai remained two wins off the pace after knocking Kotomitsuki virtually out of title contention with a well-timed slap that sent the sekiwaki sprawling on the dohyo.

Chiyotaikai (9-2) emerged the only closest challenger to Asashoryu after rank-and-filer Jumonji fell to his third loss, while Kotomitsuki slipped to a record of 7-4 with his third loss in as many days, stalling what had been a strong start.

Local favorite Kaio delighted the crowd as he escaped from the danger of losing his ozeki rank with his eighth win after a powerful belt-grip throw against 19-year-old Kisenosato (4-7).

Akebono Taro - The 64th Yokozuna

Takanohana KojiĀ  - The 65th Yokozuna

Wakanohana Masaru - The 66th Yokozuna

Musashimaru Koyo - The 67th Yokozuna

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Asashoryu Akinori, born as Dolgorsuren Dagvadorj

Asashoryu Akinori - The 68th Yokozuna, born as Dolgorsuren Dagvadorj on September 27, 1980 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, is the first Mongolian sumo wrestler to reach the rank of yokozuna (grand champion).

Day 10 - Asashoryu on track for sweep

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Yokozuna Asashoryu showed no mercy against Mongolian compatriot Ama and solidified his lead on the 10th day of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Tuesday.

Asashoryu entertained the crowd at Fukuoka Kokusai Center with a bout rarely seen in top-level sumo, spinning around his pint-sized opponent from behind in the middle of the ring and lifting him also from behind over the straw bales to keep his unbeaten record intact.

Ama, a No. 5 maegashira, is at 5-5 after his first meeting with the grand champion.

With his 10th straight win, Asashoryu took another step closer to an unprecedented seventh straight Emperor's Cup and a sweep of all six tournaments this year. He is now two wins clear of ozeki Chiyotaikai and rank-and-filer Jumonji with five days left in the tournament.

Bulgarian sekiwake Kotooshu was dealt a fresh blow in his bid to earn promotion to sumo's second highest rank.

Kotooshu appeared headed for an eighth win when he shoved top-ranked maegashira Tamanoshima (6-4) to the edge of the ring with a tight two-handed belt grip. But Tamanoshima circled along the straw ridge and unleashed a last-gasp armpit throw that spun Kotooshu upside down and eventually toppled him on his back for his third loss.

Kotooshu lost to Asashoryu in a championship playoff in September but posted an impressive 13-2 record. He is believed to secure promotion to ozeki with double-digit wins here in Fukuoka under the Japan Sumo Association's loosely set standards.

In other key bouts, local favorite Kaio came within one win of keeping his ozeki rank with arguably his best match of the tournament.

Kaio (7-3) took the belt of Kotomitsuki (7-3) moments after the face-off and then shoved forward to put away the bout in a matter of seconds, sending the sekiwake to his second loss in as many days.

Fellow Kyushu native Chiyotaikai notched his eighth win in equally convincing fashion as the ozeki sent 19-year-old No. 5 maegashira Kisenosato (4-6) backpedaling out of the ring following a string of unstoppable slaps and thrusts.

Mongolian komusubi Hakuho improved to 7-3 win after bulldozing his way to a comfortable shove-out victory over second-ranked maegashira Futeno.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Day 9

Sekiwake Kotooshu overpowers No. 5 maegashira Ama on Monday during the ninth day of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.

Asashoryu throws down Kyokutenho

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Yokozuna Asashoryu opened up a two-win lead on the ninth day of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday after his closest challenger sekiwake Kotomitsuki tumbled to his second loss.

Asashoryu took a step closer to an unprecedented seventh straight Emperor's Cup as the 15-day meet entered the second week, toying with veteran komusubi Kyokutenho to preserve his unbeaten record at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.

The Mongolian grand champion put both hands under the armpits of Kyokutenho immediately after the face-off and after an unsuccessful throw attempt, wrapped up the match with a well-timed belt-grip throw.

Asashoryu (9-0), who is also looking to become the first wrestler to win all six tournaments in a single year, set a career high of 79 wins in a year.

Kotomitsuki, who was one win off the pace entering his ninth-day bout, suffered a setback in his title chase after being sent hurling out of the ring by up-and-coming 19-year-old Kisenosato.

Kisenosato capitalized on Kotomitsuki's halfhearted charge at the face-off and easily caught the sekiwake off-balance with a powerful shove before shrugging off an attempted throw to put away his opponent. Kisenosato improved to 4-5 with his third win in four days.

Promotion-chasing Bulgarian sekiwake Kotooshu remained two wins off the pace after a convincing win over No. 5 maegashira Ama.

Kotooshu crouched forward from the outset of his match against Ama and quickly forced the pint-sized Mongolian over the straw bales for his seventh win.

Kotooshu kept alive his hopes of earning promotion to sumo's second-highest rank. He lost to Asashoryu in a championship playoff in September but posted an impressive 13-2 record and needs an equally strong showing this time out to earn promotion to ozeki.

In other key bouts, local favorite ozeki Kaio came within two wins of keeping his rank after defeating fourth-ranked maegashira Iwakiyama (2-7), who was slapped down to the sandy surface.

Fellow ozeki Chiyotaikai improved to 7-2 with a similar slap-down technique against No. 1 maegashira Tamanoshima (5-4).

Meanwhile, Komusubi Hakuho eased past top-ranked maegashira Hokutoriki.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Day 8

Ozeki Kaio forces second-ranked maegashira Kakizoe out of the ring on the eighth day of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.

Asashoryu makes it eight straight

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Mongolian grand champion Asashoryu toppled injury-hit Futeno on Sunday to stay in the lead with his eighth straight victory at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.

Bulgarian sekiwake Kotooshu, meanwhile, bounced back from a defeat a day earlier with a one-sided victory over Iwakiyama to stay two behind the leader at the 15-day meet.

Asashoryu, who is aiming for an unprecedented seventh straight victory, moved quickly in for the kill and sent the second-ranked maegashira to the clay with a powerful outer-leg trip to improve to 8-0 in the day's final bout at Fukuoka Kokusai Center. Futeno, who pulled out of the tournament with an ankle injury but returned after four rest days, fell to his fourth defeat.

Sekiwake Kotomitsuki is one off the pace, chasing the yokozuna at 7-1, after a convincing win over top-ranked maegashira Tamonoshima (5-3).

Asashoryu beat Kotooshu in playoff at the autumn basho in September and has a chance to become the first wrestler to win all six titles in a year.

Kotooshu, who is aiming for ozeki promotion with 13 or more wins here, quickly grabbed Iwakiyama's belt and charged forward before depositing his opponent outside the ring. Iwakiyama slipped to 2-6.

Hometown favorite Chiyotaikai (6-2) stormed out of the crouch with a salvo of his trademark thrusts and slaps against Mongolian Hakuho (5-3), never relenting as he barged out the komusubi.

Fellow ozeki Kaio (5-3), who is also from Kyushu, charged like a bull after the face-off and knocked Kakizoe (1-7) over the straw bales after getting both hands wrapped around his opponent.

Kaio, who pulled out of the autumn basho with a hamstring injury and faces relegation for a record-tying eighth time, moved within three wins of keeping his rank.

In other major bouts, Russian Roho hit Tochinohana (5-3) with a barrage of slaps to the body, never giving his opponent a chance to counter as he knocked him over the ridge to pick up his sixth win.

Up-and-coming teenager Kisenosato (3-5), who defeated Kotooshu on Saturday, was scooped up by Dejima, who charged full throttle to post his first win.

Takanowaka and Toyonoshima tussled back and forth, neither giving an inch, and had to take a "mizu-iri" water break after they came to a standstill.

Day 7

Sekiwake Kotomituki forces out No. 1 maegashira Hokutoriki in action on Friday at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament in Fukuoka.

Asashoryu keeps slate clean

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Mongolian grand champion Asashoryu gave top-ranked maegashira Hokutoriki a sumo clinic Saturday as he maintained the lead with a spotless record for his seventh straight victory at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.

Bulgarian sekiwake Kotooshu, however, suffered his second shock defeat at the hands of teenager Kisenosato to move a step back in his hopes of promotion to sumo's second highest rank of ozeki, on a day of upsets at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.

In the day's finale, Asashoryu proved too quick for Hokutoriki, moving in swiftly after the face-off before lifting his opponent out with both hands to move to 7-0. Hokutoriki slipped to an unflattering 1-6.

The Mongolian yokozuna is aiming to win the Emperor's Cup for an unprecedented seventh straight time and a victory here would also make him the only wrestler to ever win all six meets in a year.

Kotooshu, who lost to Asashoryu in playoff at the Autumn Basho in September but finished with an impressive 13-2 record, showed no signs of resistance as he was promptly shoved onto heels and dumped into the ringside seats to fall to 5-2. Nineteen-year-old Kisenosato improved to 3-4.

Kotooshu had a nightmare start to the 15-day meet with a first-day loss and after a win by default, bounced back to win five straight, but a second defeat has now dented his hopes of becoming the first wrestler from Europe to win a title.

In the day's other upset, ozeki Kaio, who faces relegation for a record-tying eighth time, was defeated by Mongolian komusubi Hakuho (5-2) in a weak display as he dropped to his third loss. Kaio must post eight wins to keep his rank.

Chiyotaikai, meanwhile, peppered injury-hit Futeno with a salvo of slaps and thrusts to the body before ramming the No. 2 maegashira over the edge to improve to 5-2. Futeno, who returned to the meet after four rest days due to injury, slipped to his third defeat.

In other key bouts, sekiwake Kotomitsuki (6-1) forced out Miyabiyama (4-3).

Day 6 - Asashoryu retains sole lead at Kyushu

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Grand champion Asashoryu disposed of Kakizoe to maintain the lead with an undefeated record after the sixth day of action at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Friday.

Asashoryu never gave the second-ranked maegashira a chance in day's finale to improve to a perfect 6-0, while promotion-chasing sekiwake Kotooshu rolled over komusubi Kyokutenho to stay hot in pursuit among five wrestlers at 5-1 at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.

Kakizoe, who fell to 0-10 in career bouts against the yokozuna, was sent backpedaling right after the face-off in a flurry of slaps, leaving him at 1-5.

The Mongolian yokozuna is aiming to win the Emperor's Cup for an unprecedented seven straight time. A victory here would also make him the only wrestler to ever win all six meets in a year.

Kotooshu, who lost to Asashoryu in playoff at the autumn basho in September but finished with an impressive 13-2 record, got both hands wrapped around the belt of Mongolian Kyokuteno (3-3) before barging him over the ridge in a matter of seconds.

The Bulgarian giant started the 15-day meet with a shock defeat, but after notching a win by default, he has bounced back as he shoots for promotion to sumo's second highest rank of ozeki and a shot at becoming the first wrestler from Europe to win a title.

In other key bouts, Miyabiyama (4-2), a No. 4 maegashira got his third ozeki kill of the meet, tossing down Chiyotaikai (4-2) by the head immediately out of the crouch.

Meanwhile, fellow ozeki Kaio, who is in danger of losing his rank for a record-tying eight time, sent Dejima to his sixth straight defeat with a beltless arm throw to move a step closer to easing his relegation worries.

Sekiwake Kotomitsuki made mincemeat of top-ranked maegashira Hokutoriki (1-5), ramming out his opponent in a textbook frontal assault to stay one off the pace at 5-1.

Roho, an eight-ranked maegashira from Russia, slipped on a banana peel as he was sent sprawling to the dirt after dropping his head too low after the face-off in a bout with Mongolian fifth-ranked maegashira Ama, leaving both men at 4-2.

Up-and-coming teenager Kisenosato got a left-handed grip on the belt of Tamanoshima (4-2) before bellying out his opponent to improve to 2-4, while komusubi Hakuho (4-2) did a balancing act on one leg before flipping down Iwakiyama (2-4).

Georgian Kokkai got into barroom scuffle with winless Takanowaka before lowering his head and barreling out the No. 10 maegashira to improve to 3-3.

Fan favorite Takamisakari got the crowd hyped with his pre-bout histrionics before marching out Wakatoba in one-sided affair, improving his record to 4-2 while leaving his opponent at 2-4.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Day 5

(There were no sumo pictures availble:) The first flight of Taiwanese airline Eva Air's jet featuring a fuselage painted with the popular Japanese cartoon character Hello Kitty touched down at Fukuoka airport on Saturday. To access full stories on Kyodo News English website, it is necessary to subscribe.

Asashoryu keeps on rolling

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Yokozuna Asashoryu grabbed sole possession of the lead with the demolition of Miyabiyama while promotion-chasing sekiwake Kotooshu stayed one off the pace with a convincing win at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Thursday.

After the first third of the 15-day meet, Mongolian Asashoryu, who is chasing an unprecedented seventh straight Emperor's Cup title, took the lead with a 5-0 record with eight wrestlers pursuing the grand champion at 4-1.

In the day's final bout at Fukuoka Kokusai Center, Asashoryu took control from start to finish, shoving the fourth-ranked maegashira off-balance several times, lifting him up in the air once and promptly pushing him out of the ring in a relentless attack. Miyabiyama fell to 3-2.

Bulgarian Kotooshu (4-1) made quick work of top-ranked maegashira Hokutoriki (1-4), getting a solid two-handed grip on his opponent's belt after the face-off before ushering him over the ridge in convincing fashion.

In September, Asashoryu dispatched main rival Kotooshu in a playoff to win the autumn tourney and is also looking to become the first wrestler to win all six tournaments in a year.

Kotooshu, who is aiming to promotion to sumo's second highest rank of ozeki with a strong showing of 13 or more wins in Kyushu, finally began to show signs of life after a nightmare first-day loss and one win by default.

Elsewhere in the upper echelon, Kaio was railroaded by top-ranked maegashira Tamanoshima (4-1) and slipped to a second defeat while fellow ozeki Chiyotaikai (4-1) rammed winless Dejima after the face-off before sending the third-ranked maegashira floundering over the edge to his fifth loss in a row.

Kaio, who pulled out of the autumn basho with a hamstring injury, must win eight bouts here as he faces relegation for a record-tying eighth time.

In other main bouts, crowd favorite Takamisakari (3-2) snapped an 0-4 career losing streak against Takekaze (3-2), quickly wrapping both arms around his fellow ninth-ranked opponent before slamming him to the dirt surface.

Mongolian Ama, a No. 5 maegashira, escaped the grasp of Toyonoshima before dumping the eight-ranked maegashira to the clay with a well-executed underarm throw.

Day 4

Sekiwake and ozeki contender Kotooshu slams down No. 4 maegashira Miyabiyama to improve his record to 3-1 at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.

Asashoryu downs Dejima to stay undefeated in Kyushu

FUKUOKA (AP) Grand champion Asashoryu posted a hard-fought win over Dejima on Wednesday to remain undefeated and tied for the lead on the fourth day of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.

Asashoryu, who is bidding for a record seventh straight Emperor's Cup, had his hands full with the No. 3 maegashira in the day's final bout at Fukuoka Kokusai Center, but eventually prevailed after shoving Dejima out to improve to 4-0.

Asashoryu, the only yokozuna competing in sumo, is also bidding to become the first wrestler to win all six tournaments in a year. Dejima, who put up a good fight against the Mongolian grappler, dropped to 0-4.

In other major bouts, Bulgarian sekiwake Kotooshu improved to 3-1 when he overpowered Miyabiyama to hand the fourth-ranked maegashira his first loss of the tourney.

Sekiwake Kotomitsuki remained tied for the lead with Asashoryu when he overwhelmed fourth-ranked Iwakiyama to stay undefeated. Iwakiyama fell to 1-3.

Rank-and-filer Jumonji is also undefeated at 4-0 after a win over Katayama.

Local favorite Kaio barely broke a sweat, shoving out top maegashira Hakutoriki to pick up his third win against a lone loss. Struggling Hokutoriki dropped to 1-3.

Ozeki Chiyotaikai deployed his trademark arm thrusts to send Kakizoe back after the faceoff, and then deftly sidestepped the No. 2 maegashira to improve to 3-1. Kakizoe fell to 1-3.

Earlier Wednesday, ozeki Tochiazuma withdrew after aggravating a rib muscle injury in a bout on Tuesday.

Tochiazuma, who dropped to 2-2, initially sustained the injury during a regional training tour last month.

Unless he returns to action and posts eight wins, Tochiazuma will have to notch at least eight wins at the New Year meet in January to maintain his ozeki rank, the second highest in sumo.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Day 3

Sekiwake Kotooshu throws No. 3 maegashira Dejima out of the ring on the third day of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament at Fukuoka Kokusai Center on Tuesday.

Asashoryu teaches teen a lesson

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Yokozuna Asashoryu held off a challenge from up-and-coming teenager Kisenosato for his third straight win while Bulgarian Kotooshu earned his second win at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Tuesday.

Asashoryu greeted Kisenosato with a right-hand slap to his cheek at the face-off, quickly crouched deep inside and, after fending off a leg-trip attempt with ease, toppled the 19-year-old with an excellently executed right-thigh sweep at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.

Asashoryu, who is aiming for an unprecedented seventh straight Emperor's Cup, is among six unbeaten wrestlers in the top makuuchi division three days into the 15-day tournament.

In September, Asashoryu ousted main rival Kotooshu in a playoff to win the autumn tourney and is also looking to become the first wrestler to win all six tournaments in a year.

Kisenosato, who has risen to his highest rank of No. 5 maegashira after a 12-3 showing at the autumn meet, is 1-2 after his loss to Asashoryu in his first-ever meeting with a yokozuna.

Promotion-chasing sekiwake Kotooshu notched his second win in convincing fashion as the Bulgarian held the belt tightly with both hands at the face-off and grabbed the right leg of Dejima before wildly barging out the winless No. 3 maegashira.

Earlier in the tournament, Kotooshu got off to a nightmare start to his bid for promotion to the second-highest rank of ozeki with an opening-day loss to No. 2 maegashira Kakizoe. On Monday, he was awarded his first win here by default after injury-hit No. 2 maegashira Futeno withdrew.

The 22-year-old looked set to become the first wrestler from Europe to capture the Emperor's Cup in September but wilted under the pressure and surrendered a two-win lead before losing to Asashoryu in a playoff.

Kotooshu posted an impressive 13-2 record last time out and will need an equally strong performance here to earn promotion to ozeki.

In other key bouts, ozeki Chiyotaikai (2-1) survived an initial charge from Iwakiyama and slapped down the No. 4 maegashira after backpedaling to the ring's edge. Iwakiyama slipped to 1-2.

Tochiazuma (2-1) let a win slip away after failing to fend off a deft maneuver by in-form fourth-ranked maegashira Miyabiyama (3-0), who sidestepped near the edge to see off the onrushing ozeki.

Day 2

Komusubi Kyokutenho pushes ozeki Chiyotaikai down to the ground for an upset win Monday in second-day action at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament in Fukuoka.

Unbeaten Asashoryu stomps Iwakiyama

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Yokozuna Asashoryu plowed over Iwakiyama to remain unbeaten as he moved a step closer in his bid to winning a record-setting seventh straight Emperor's Cup after the second day of action at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday.

Meanwhile it was a day of mixed fortune for ozeki Kaio, Tochiazuma and Chiyotaikai while newly promoted Bulgarian Kotooshu picked up his first win by default after Futeno (0-2) withdrew from the 15-day meet with an ankle injury.

In the day's finale at Fukuoka Kokusai Center, Asashoryu hit his fourth-ranked opponent with a barrage of slaps to the face and moved deftly to the side before marching his opponent out from behind to improve to 2-0. Iwakiyama slipped to 1-1.

Asashoryu has a chance to win all six basho this year and seven straight titles -- a feat never accomplished by a wrestler.

Kotooshu, who suffered a shock defeat to Kakizoe on Sunday, appeared set to become the first wrestler from Europe to a win a title at the autumn basho in September but relinquished a two-win lead before buckling under the pressure in a playoff with the yokozuna.

The 22-year-old gentle giant posted an impressive 13-2 record last time out but will need an equally strong performance here to earn a promotion to sumo's second highest rank of ozeki.

Tochiazuma stopped Dejima (0-2) in his tracks and got a grip on his opponent's left shoulder before swiftly dragging him to the clay to stay undefeated but Kaio (1-1) was sent packing in one-sided affair with Miyabiyama (2-0).

Kaio, who faces relegation for a record-tying eighth time and needs eight wins at this meet to keep his rank, absorbed a fierce charge from the No. 4 maegashira but retreated over the edge without much fuss.

Chiyotaikai was the second ozeki casualty, hitting the clay with a thud as he was forced onto his back after his trademark thrusts proved ineffective against komusubi Kyokutenho (1-1).

In other key bouts, sekiwake Kotomitsuki (2-0) was sent reeling onto his heels by Kakizoe (1-1) but recovered nicely at the last moment to toss his second-ranked opponent over the ridge with a well-executed arm bar throw.

In a battle of eastern European wrestlers, Georgian Kokkai (1-1) prevailed over Russian Roho (1-1), crushing his opponent back after the face-off before shoving him quickly to the clay.

Ama charged ahead to grind out winless Tokitenku to improve to 2-0, making quick work of the same opponent he got locked into a marathon bout in their last meeting in September.

Teenager Kisenosato, who was promoted to his highest rank of No. 5 maegashira after a strong showing in September, manhandled Hokutoriki, sending his opponent to a second straight loss.

Mongolian Hakuho, who tried a sneaky "henka" sidestep maneuver in his loss to Asashoryu on the opening day, slipped to a second straight defeat when he retreated and was abruptly shown an exit after the face-off.

Sumo's court jest Takamisakari got a deft right-handed grip on Kotoshogiku before slapping the seventh-ranked wrestler to the dirt, leaving both men at 1-1.

Thirty-seven-year old Kotonowaka got his hands wrapped around the belt of Hakurozan (1-1) and muscled his opponent over the straw ridge in an earlier bout to improve to 2-0.

Day 1 - Asashoryu off to winning start in Kyushu

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Grand champion Asashoryu dodged a bullet and made a winning start in his bid for an unprecedented seventh straight Emperor's Cup by beating fellow-Mongolian Hakuho on the opening day of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Sunday.

No. 2 maegashra Kakizoe pulls down sekiwake Kotooshu on the first day of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.

Ozeki Kaio and Chiyotaikai also posted victories but Bulgarian sekiwake Kotooshu got off to a nightmare start in the 15-day meet in Fukuoka with a shock loss to second-ranked Kakizoe.

In the day's finale, Asashoryu looked in all sorts of trouble after being barged to ring's edge. But he recovered well, spinning round and charging at Hakuho, who lost his balance and stepped over the straw ridge.

Asashoryu ousted main rival Kotooshu in a play-off to win the autumn tourney in September and is also looking to become the first wrestler to win all six tournaments in a year.

Kotooshu looked set to become the first wrestler from Europe to capture the Emperor's Cup at the autumn meet but wilted under the pressure and surrendered a two-win lead before losing the playoff.

This time he suffered an early meltdown and looked lost as Kakizoe got hold of the sekiwake and slapped him down in a matter of seconds.

The 22-year-old Kotooshu posted an impressive 13-2 record last time out and will need a similar performance here to earn promotion to sumo's second rank of ozeki.

In contrast, Kaio, who pulled out of the autumn meet with a hamstring injury, had little trouble in forcing out Futeno to record the first of eight wins he needs to save his ozeki rank for the eighth time in his career.

Chiyotaikai soaked up a series of thrusts and dragged down Hokutoriki and Tochiazuma completed an ozeki hat-trick, diving in low to send top-ranked maegashira Tamanoshima packing with a head charge.

In other bouts, popular maegashira Takamisakari was unable to match his comical pre-bout warm-up with victory and left his fans disappointed after being promptly marched out of the ring by eighth-ranked Toyonoshima.

Japanese teenager Kisenosato, who has risen to his highest ever ranks of No. 5 maegashira after an excellent showing at the autumn meet, also suffered defeat after being outclassed by fourth-ranked Iwakiyama.

It was a mixed day for eastern European wrestlers competing in sumo's top flight as rugged Russian Roho and younger brother Hakurozan emerged victorious but Kokkai came unstuck after an entertaining bout with Ama.

Eighth-ranked Roho came out on top of a street brawl with Mongolian Tokitenku but Kokkai failed to execute a pair of leg trips and Ama came back to force the Georgian wrestler out to a first defeat.

In the lower echelons of the makuuchi division, Hakurozan opened with a slap-down win over Asasekiryu while Tochinohana overcame a false start to see of Shunketsu, the wrestler formerly known as Ishide.

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