23 July 2006

Ho-hum: Asashoryu Wins Again

The Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament this year started out with many hopeful contenders, from the giant Estonian rookie Baruto to the veteran Japanese ozeki Tochiazuma, but each began to fade during the second week while the sole yokozuna Asashoryu cruised to his 17th victory, clinching it on the second-to-last day with a record of 14-0. His nearest rival, newly promoted ozeki and fellow Mongolian Hakuho stood at 12-2 when he faced Asashoryu in the final bout of the tournament, which turned out to be the most exciting bout of all. Hakuho won it, finishing just one loss behind the grand champion at 13-2. Barring injuries, there is a very good chance that the Sumo Association will promote another Mongolian to yokozuna by the end of the year.

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