10 July 2004

Hokutoriki Falls Apart

While most of the focus in sumo's Nagoya Basho is on sole yokozuna (grand champion) Asashoryu, who now shares the lead with lowly maegashira Miyabiyama at 7-0, I'd like to ask what the hell happened to the shooting star of the Natsu Basho in May, Hokutoriki, who came within one playoff bout of stealing the tournament from Asashoryu, after both ended up with 13-2 records on the final day. As a result, Hokutoriki was promoted to sekiwake, skipping the komusubi rank altogether. Now, halfway into the very next tournament, Hokutoriki stands at 0-7. He'll be lucky to end up right back where he started from after this tournament. I give him credit, at least, for not dropping out, but showing up every day and taking his lumps.

That's News to Me has a wrap-up.

UPDATE (Day 8): Make that Hokutoriki 0-8, Asashoryu 8-0.
UPDATE (Day 9): Hokutoriki went up against Asashoryu, so it's now 0-9 vs. 9-0.
UPDATE (Day 10): Asashoryu, now 10-0, ruined Miyabiyama's perfect record, leaving him 9-1. But Hokutoriki finally won one by defeating Kyokushuzan, leaving both tied at 1-9.
UPDATE (Day 11): Cushions fly on the final bout as former ozeki (champion), now sekiwake (junior champion) Tochiazuma (now 9-2) upsets Asashoryu (now 10-1). And ozeki Chiyotaikai (now 9-2) ruined Hokutoriki's short comeback, leaving him at 1-10.
UPDATE (Day 12): Thanks to sekiwake Wakanosato, Asashoryu's losing streak (2) was longer than Hokutoriki's winning streak (1). Asashoryu and Miyabiyama are now tied for first place at 10-2; while Hokutoriki, Kyokushuzan, Harunoyama, and Wakatoba are tied for last place at 2-10.
UPDATE (Day 13): Hokutoriki et al. trail at 2-11, Asashoryu and Miyabiyama still lead at 11-2.
UPDATE (Day 14): Hokutoriki 2-12, Asashoryu 12-2
UDDATE (Final): Hokutoriki rises to 3-12, but Asashoryu wins the basho at 13-2.

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