19 September 2004

Kyokushuzan Grabs Sumo Lead

The Japan Times reports
Mongolian magician ["supermarket of tricks"] Kyokushuzan bundled out Tokitsuumi on Saturday to take sole possession of the lead [at 7-0] heading into the second week of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.
Lowly maegashira Kyokushuzan kept both his perfect record (8-0) and his lead on Sunday, with ozeki Dejima (at 7-1) right behind him, and 5 rikishi just one loss behind (at 6-2).

It's been a very, very unusual tournament. Top-ranked Asashoryu lost two in a row, for what may be a personal worst since becoming yokozuna. And there are more foreigners than ever in the top Makuuchi division. In addition to the five Mongolians--Asashoryu, Asasekiryu, Kyokushuzan, Kyokutenho, and Hakuho--there's the Georgian Kokkai, the Bulgarian Kotooshu, the Russian Roho, and the Korean Kasugao.

UPDATE, Day 9: After fellow maegashira (and former ozeki) Dejima beat Kyokushuzan on Day 9, they both share the lead, at 8-1, with yokozuna Asashoryu, ozeki Kaio, and sekiwake Wakanosato right behind, at 7-2.

UPDATE, Day 10: After losing again, Kyokushuzan is tied with Dejima, Kaio, and grand champion Asashoryu at 8-2.

As usual, more at That's News to Me.

UPDATE, Day 12: Kaio grabs the lead, at 10-2, after Dejima and Asashoryu lose, dropping to 9-3. Asa is having his worst tournament of the year.

UPDATE, Day 15: Ozeki Kaio (13-2) defeats yokozuna Asashoryu (9-6!) to clinch the tournament. Kyokushuzan ends up with an 11-4 record. The foreign rookies Roho (10-5) and Kotooshu (9-6) did as well as the sole yokozuna. What a strange, fragmented tournament full of upsets!

No comments: