2017 Natsu Basho.

Discussion in 'Sports' started by Swami, May 11, 2017.

  1. Swami

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    Yokozuna Kisenosato fit to fight in summer meet
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    Created on Thursday, 11 May 2017 13:01
    Written by Kyodo
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    Yokozuna Kisenosato is fit to take part in the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament starting this weekend, his stablemaster Tagonoura said Thursday.

    Kisenosato enters the Summer meet looking for his second championship as yokozuna and his third in a row. The grand champion has been recovering from injuries to his left upper arm and chest muscles suffered late in the previous meet in March.

    "I spoke with him (Kisenosato) this morning and we decided he would take part" said Tagonoura. "I think fans are coming to watch grand champion level wrestling so I want him to give a performance befitting of a yokozuna and do his best."

    He sat out the regional spring tourney in April and also skipped practice in front of the Yokozuna Deliberation Council, a powerful advisory body to the Japan Sumo Association, on May 3.

    Kisenosato's injuries cast a doubt over his participation in the May 14-28 Summer basho, but he has been regaining fitness since training on May 6.

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  2. Swami

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    Natsu Day 1: Kisenosato crashes to opening-day upset
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    Created on Sunday, 14 May 2017 19:41
    Written by Kyodo
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    Yokozuna Kisenosato's bid for a third consecutive championship title took an early blow with a shock defeat to komusubi Yoshikaze on Sunday, the opening day of the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament. Kakuryu also suffered an upset, but the other two yokozuna -- Hakuho and Harumafuji -- emerged unscathed to make winning starts at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

    Kisenosato was declared fit to fight at the 15-day tourney in Tokyo on Thursday after recovering from injuries to his left upper arm and chest muscles suffered late in the previous meet in March. But he was second best in the day's final bout, Yoshikaze standing firm at the charge and getting into position to finish the grand champion off with a right-handed shove.

    "I guess I did well," said Yoshikaze. "There were no special feelings (about opening against a yokozuna). I was able to focus at the tachi-ai (charge). It's a great feeling whoever you beat (in your first bout). I think it was a good performance."

    Kisenosato sat out the regional spring tourney in April and also skipped practice in front of the Yokozuna Deliberation Council, a powerful advisory body to the Japan Sumo Association, on May 3 before resuming training a few days later.

    The Tagonoura stable star, who fought through injury on the last two days of the spring event, was hailed for his grit after he became the first newly promoted yokozuna to win a championship in 22 years.

    Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho, who missed most of the March tournament due to toe and thigh injuries, never looked in any danger in his bout against Chiyonokuni, the 37-time Emperor's Cup winner surging forward and forcing the No. 1 maegashira to step over the ridge.

    In the next bout, Harumafuji also won convincingly. The Mongolian got sekiwake Kotoshogiku into a bear hug and shunted him out of the ring before Kakuryu unraveled after a strong start and was bundled out of the ring by komusubi Mitakeumi.

    In other bouts in the upper ranks of the makuuchi division, Goeido kicked off the meet with a win, the ozeki taking second-ranked maegashira Okinoumi down with a pulling underarm throw.

    But Terunofuji, who lost to Kisenosato in a championship playoff at the March meet, missed the chance to complete a triumphant double for sumo's second rank, the towering Mongolian ozeki getting forced out by top-ranked maegashira Endo.

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  3. Swami

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    Natsu Day 2: Kisensato rebounds for 1st win
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    Created on Monday, 15 May 2017 17:24
    Written by Kyodo
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    Yokozuna Kisenosato picked up his first win of the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday, avoiding successive defeats by beating second-ranked maegashira Okinoumi at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

    A night after being upset by komsubi Yoshikaze (1-1) on the opening day of his second tourney as grand champion, Kisenosato rebounded with a win to improve his career record to 18-3 over Okinoumi (0-2).

    With his left chest and shoulder area taped up as a result of the injury he suffered at the last meet in March, Kisenosato seemed to wince in pain as he broke from the tachiai and tried to reach for the belt with his left arm.

    Kisenosato, however, never lost control of the bout as the Tagonoura stable wrestler ushered his opponent beyond the straw bales for the victory.

    Kisenosato on Tuesday will face No. 1 maegashira Chiyonokuni (1-1), who consigned yokozuna Kakuryu to his second loss in a row in their first career meeting.

    Kakuryu lost his balance as he barreled into Chiyonokuni at the start, and the maegashira shoved the Mongolian down to the dirt for his first win of the basho.

    It was the first kimboshi of Chiyonokuni's career.

    "I'm a little bit surprised," Chiyonokuni said. "I went as hard as I could. I'm just thrilled by this. I want to focus on having a good start, take it one match at a time and hopefully have a good tournament."

    The other two yokozuna, Hakuho and Harumafuji, each rolled to their second win in as many days. Hakuho seized a slap-fest against Yoshikaze (1-1), while Harumafuji bulldozed top-ranked Endo (1-1) off the mound with authority.

    Kisenosato's stablemate and sekiwake Takayasu continued to march toward promotion by winning for the second straight day, thrusting ozeki Goeido (1-1) out of the ring without much challenge.

    Ozeki Terunofuji remained winless after two days, losing this time at the hands of sekiwake Tamawashi (2-0).

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  4. Swami

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    Natsu Day 3: Kisenosato ekes out 2nd win as Hakuho, Harumafuji stay perfect
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    Created on Tuesday, 16 May 2017 14:17
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    Kisenosato survived a scare and squeezed out his second win of the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Tuesday, while fellow yokozuna Hakuho and Harumafuji kept their perfect record intact after three days.

    Still nursing the left upper arm and chest injury he suffered at the Spring tourney in March, Kisenosato was on the back foot throughout against a spirited No. 1 maegashira Chiyonokuni (1-2), who handed yokozuna Kakuryu his second defeat a day earlier.

    After charging low, Chiyonokuni didn't give Kisenosato time to breathe and had the grand champion teetering by a foot on the straw bales at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

    But the difference in size showed as Chiyonokuni failed produce one, last vital push. Kisenosato recovered, and Chiyonokuni's ill-timed pull-down gave the yokozuna room to take advantage as Chiyonokuni was pushed out in their first career meeting.

    "It was agonizing. (The pull) showed I was weak," Chiyonokuni said. "He was strong all-around, so heavy. I did everything I could. I wanted to win."

    Japan Sumo Association Chairman Hakkaku praised Kisenosato for digging deep and finding a way to win.

    "Winning is what is important for Kisenosato in difficult moments like this," Hakkaku said. "The yokozuna was desperate, but so was the challenger, which is why the bout was so fascinating."

    Record title-holder Hakuho made it three out of three after flooring No. 2 Chiyoshoma (1-2). The 37-time champion slapped the fellow Mongolian off the tachiai before easily grabbing the belt for an overarm throw in another first-time encounter.

    Harumafuji also earned his third win with a solid force-out over No. 2 Okinoumi (0-3), quickly grabbing the front of the belt and jostling him off the raised ring.

    Kakuryu (1-2) opened this meet with two sloppy defeats and a third seemed to be on the horizon when Endo (1-2) barged him toward the ridge. But the top-ranked maegashira lost his balance to a desperate pull-down from Kakuryu as all four yokozuna won on the same day for the first time this tournament.

    Ozeki Terunofuji collected his first win of the meet after dimissing No. 3 Daieisho (0-3) with ease, but the other ozeki in the rankings, Goeido, suffered his second loss after falling to veteran komusubi Yoshikaze (2-1).

    Goeido needs a winning record here to keep his ozeki status after pulling out of the spring tourney in March with an ankle injury.

    Chasing promotion to ozeki, Takayasu (3-0) had no issues in dispatching hapless sekiwake Kotoshogiku (0-3). The former ozeki easily backed off after the initial charge from a lively Takayasu before finding himself on the dirt.

    Having won a combined 23 at the last two tournaments, Takayasu needs 10 victories at this meet to qualify for sumo's second-highest rank. The criteria for promotion is to win 33 bouts over three tourneys.

    "It seems Takayasu is full of confidence. He's wrestling just the way he wants," Hakkaku said.

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  5. Swami

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    Natsu Day 4: Kisenosato crashes again to fall 2 wins back
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    Created on Wednesday, 17 May 2017 18:45
    Written by Kyodo
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    Kisenosato crashed to a second defeat at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament after the yokozuna was upset by top-ranked maegashira Endo on the fourth day of action Wednesday.

    Kisenosato, who is gunning for a third straight title and second as yokozuna, was made to pay for not finishing off Endo at Ryogoku Kokugikan, dropping two wins off the pace. Fellow grand champions Hakuho and Harumafuji won to share the lead along with sekiwake Takayasu at 4-0 at the 15-day meet, but yokozuna Kakuryu fluffed his lines again and fell to 1-3.

    Kisenosato, who is recovering from left upper arm and chest injuries sustained at the Spring tourney in March, missed a golden opportunity to take Endo down after the maegashira lost his footing at the center of the ring. But instead of pulling him down by the back of the neck, he allowed Endo (2-2) to surge forward and shunt him over the straw bales.

    Endo became the first wrestler to produce a kimboshi over Kisenosato. Kimboshi (or gold star) is the notation used to record a maegashira's victory over a yokozuna. "He had not conceded a kimboshi to anyone. I thought I had a chance and wanted to be the first one to do it," said Endo, who admitted to thinking he messed up after losing his balance. I thought I had blown it, but managed to stay on my feet and just thought I had to go forward."

    In the day's final bout, Hakuho, sumo's most successful wrestler of all time with 37 Emperor's Cups, bided his time before resorting to brute strength to bump out second-ranked Okinoumi (0-4) and stay perfect.

    Harumafuji made short work of Chiyonokuni (1-3), the Mongolian easily blasting out the top-ranked maegashira to retain his share of the lead.

    But Kakuryu crashed to a third defeat, the retreating yokozuna stepping out of the ring in the face of a strong attack from komusubi Yoshikaze (3-1).

    Yoshikaze claimed his second yokozuna scalp of the tournament following an opening-day win over Kisenosato. "I didn't realize the match had been settled. I thought I had lost but the yokozuna's foot was outside the ring. I am grateful (for the fans cheering for me) but when I am on the ring I am just focused on wrestling well," said Yoshikaze

    Takayasu came back from the brink to take down komusubi Mitakeumi (3-1) with a kubinage headlock throw, staying on course for a shot at promotion to ozeki. Takayasu won a combined 23 bouts over the last two tournaments and needs 10 victories at this meet to be considered for promotion to sumo's second-highest rank.

    Former ozeki Kotoshogiku (1-3) finally chalked up his first win, claiming sekiwake bragging rights by bellying out Tamawashi (2-2).

    In other bouts of note, Mongolian ozeki Terunofuji posted his second straight win, flooring second-ranked Chiyoshoma (1-3) with a textbook beltless arm throw to level his mark at 2-2.

    Goeido completed a winning day for ozeki, also moving to 2-2 after barging out third-ranked Daieisho (0-4). Goeido pulled out of the spring tourney in March with an ankle injury and needs a winning record here to retain his ozeki status.

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  6. Swami

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    Natsu Day 4: Kisenosato rebounds to get 3-peat bid back on track
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    Created on Thursday, 18 May 2017 14:22
    Written by Kyodo
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    Yokozuna Kisenosato dug in deep to get his faltering bid for a third straight championship title back on track with a win over second-ranked maegashira Chiyoshoma at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Thursday.

    Looking to rebound from a shock second defeat Wednesday, Kisenosato (3-2) had his hands full as Chiyoshoma got himself into a good position and twice attempted to take the grand champion out with backward leg trips at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

    But Kisenosato, who is recovering from left upper arm and chest injuries sustained at the Spring tourney in March, got a second wind and bundled Chiyoshoma (1-4) out to remain two wins off the pace at the 15-day meet.

    The top three remained unchanged, with Mongolian grand champions Hakuho and Harumafuji sharing the lead at 5-0 with sekiwake Takayasu.

    Hakuho oozed class in his bout against Mitakeumi (3-2), drawing the komusubi in after the charge and sending him to the dirt with a routine uwatenage overarm throw.

    Hakuho missed most of the Spring meet due to toe and thigh injuries but looks in good shape here as he seeks to extend his all-time record of championship titles to 38.

    Harumafuji barely broke sweat in his first meeting with third-ranked maegashira Daieisho (0-5), scoring a quick-fire pulling overarm throw win to preserve his unbeaten start.

    Kakuryu, the other grand champion in the elite makuuchi division, pulled out of the tournament earlier in the day due to a left ankle injury.

    Kakuryu on Wednesday was shoved out of the raised ring by komusubi Yoshikaze for his third defeat in four days. He lost Thursday's scheduled bout against second-ranked maegashira Okinoumi, leaving both men back with 1-4 records.

    Takayasu further boosted his chances of a shot at promotion to ozeki, soaking up Endo's (2-3) charge and marching the top-ranked maegashira out of the ring.

    Takayasu won a combined 23 bouts over the last two tournaments and is halfway toward the 10 victories he needs at this meet to be considered for promotion to sumo's second-highest rank.

    Elsewhere, Goeido scored the third of eight wins required to retain his ozeki rank, fending off a lunge to the throat and seeing off No. 1 maegashira Chiyonokuni (1-4).

    Goeido came into the tournament with his rank on the line after he pulled out of the Spring meet with an ankle injury.

    Ozeki Terunofuji (3-2) also won, the Mongolian finishing off sekiwake Kotoshogiku (1-4) with a perfectly executed uwatenage overarm throw.

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    Natsu Day 6: Kisenosato trails leaders by two wins
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    Created on Friday, 19 May 2017 13:46
    Written by Kyodo
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    Yokozuna Kisenosato squashed Daieisho to stay within two wins of grand champion rivals Hakuho and Harumafuji at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Friday.

    In arguably his most convincing win of the meet, Kisenosato quickly wrapped both arms around Daieisho and flattened the winless No. 3 maegashira with an abisetaoshi backward force down technique at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

    Hakuho and Harumafuji both won handsomely and share the lead at the 15-day event with perfect 6-0 records. Promotion-chasing sekiwake Takayasu suffered his first defeat and is in a tie for second place at 5-1 with rank-and-filers Daishomaru and Onosho.

    Hakuho, looking like a strong bet for a record-extending 38th career Emperor’s Cup after missing most of the last tournament with injuries, gave No. 1 maegashira Endo (2-4) a sumo lesson.

    Hakuho unleashed a barrage of slaps and thrusts that Endo did well to withstand until the Mongolian sent him flying out of the ring with a powerful shove.

    Harumafuji wrapped up the day’s action by knocking Bulgarian-born No. 3 maegashira Aoiyama (1-5) off the ridge for a comfortable force-out victory.

    Takayasu lost his share of the lead and saw his hopes of a shot at ozeki promotion take a hit with a comprehensive defeat to fellow sekiwake Tamawashi (4-2).

    Takayasu needs to win at least five of his last nine bouts to meet the criteria of 33 victories over three tournaments for promotion.

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    Natsu Day 7: Hakuho spanks Daieisho to keep share of lead
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    Created on Saturday, 20 May 2017 20:30
    Written by Kyodo
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    Mongolian grand champion Hakuho did his best impression of a bulldozer on Saturday to retain his share of the lead after the first week of action at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament.

    Hakuho, looking to win a record 38th career title on his return from injury, got stuck into Daieisho at the charge and faced little resistance, sending the winless No. 3 maegashira sliding across the sandy surface and out of the ring in 3.2 seconds.

    Hakuho and fellow Mongolian yokozuna Harumafuji share the lead at 7-0. Sekiwake Takayasu follows at 6-1 and grand champion Kisenosato is another win back in a 13-way tie at 5-2.

    Harumafuji followed up a crunching head charge with a couple of neck thrusts and finished off Yoshikaze (4-3) to deny the komusubi his third yokozuna scalp of the tournament.

    Kisenosato dodged a bullet to see off Mitakeumi (3-4) after the komusubi had threatened to bump the yokozuna out to a third defeat.

    Teetering on the straw bales, Kisenosato fought back and after a mid-ring stalemate huffed and puffed his way to victory, much to the delight of the crowd at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

    Ozeki promotion hopeful Takayasu recovered from his first defeat of the tournament to sit one win back with a tsukiotoshi thrust down win against second-ranked maegashira Chiyoshoma (1-6).

    Takayasu needs four more wins from his last eight bouts to meet the criteria of 33 victories over three tournaments for promotion from sekiwake to sumo's second-highest rank.

    Ozeki Goeido edged a step closer to retaining his ozeki rank, turning the tables on struggling sekiwake Kotoshogiku at the ring's edge for a fifth win.

    Kotoshogiku, who narrowly missed out on a swift return to ozeki at the last tournament, crashed to his sixth loss.

    Mongolian ozeki Terunofuji cruised to his fifth win, forcing out second-ranked maegashira Okinoumi (1-6).

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    Natsu Day 8: Hakuho, Harumafuji still tied for lead
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    Created on Sunday, 21 May 2017 19:20
    Written by Kyodo
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    Hakuho put on another sumo clinic on Sunday to stay unbeaten and tied for the lead with fellow Mongolian grand champion Harumafuji after eight days of action at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament.

    Hakuho oozed class in his bout against struggling Kotoshogiku (1-7) at Ryogoku Kokugikan, quickly taking the sekiwake down with a textbook pulling overarm throw to move to 8-0 at the 15-day meet in Tokyo.

    Harumafuji was equally imperious in the day's penultimate bout, ramming second-ranked maegashira Chiyoshoma (1-7) off the dohyo and into the ringside cushions with a devastating neck thrust.

    Sekiwake Takayasu stayed in touch with the leading duo at 7-1, while grand champion Kisenosato is another win back in a tie for 6-2.

    Chasing a third straight title, Kisenosato needed every ounce of strength to deal with Bulgarian-born third-ranked maegashira Aoiyama, who put up a valiant effort before running out of steam at the edge of the ring.

    Takayasu remained in the hunt for the title and on course for possible promotion to ozeki with a controlling win over komusubi Yoshikaze (4-4).

    Takayasu got stuck in at the charge and followed up a pair of blows to Yoshikaze's head by pulling him down by the back of the neck.

    Takayasu needs 33 wins over three tournaments to be considered for promotion to ozeki and he is now only three victories away from meeting that requirement.

    Ozeki Terunofuji (6-2) turned on the style in the next bout, lifting the 160-kilogram frame of komusubi Mitaketumi (3-5) off the floor and then plopping him over the bales for an arm barring force out win.

    But fellow ozeki Goeido got chased out of the ring by popular maegashira Endo (3-5) and suffered his third defeat.

    Goeido is wrestling with his rank on the line for the fifth time in his career, and still needs at least three more wins to avoid demotion to sekiwake for the next tournament in July.

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    Natsu Day 9: Kisenosato handed 3rd loss as Hakuho, Harumafuji retain lead
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    Created on Monday, 22 May 2017 18:05
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    Yokozuna Kisenosato succumbed to his third loss at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday while Mongolian grand champions Hakuho and Harumafuji secured their ninth straight win at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

    Kisenosato's hope of a third straight championship was dealt a severe blow by Tochiozan (5-4). The yokozuna's slap off the initial charge did not deter the fourth-ranked maegashira, who easily put his head to Kisenosato's chest and bulldozed him over the ridge in a surprisingly one-sided bout.

    There was no such slipup from Hakuho as he improved to 18-1 against No. 3 maegashira Aoiyama (2-7). The Bulgarian grabbed the belt with his left arm but the yokozuna timed his pulling overarm throw to perfection, getting him off balance with the first attempt before flooring him with another swivel.

    Harumafuji also notched up another win but was given a much sterner test by sekiwake Tamawashi (6-3) as he left limping on his way out.

    The yokozuna came off second best after charging low and lost balance but just about dodged a following barge, leaving his fellow countryman teetering on the edge before going all out to wrestle him off the raised ring.

    Sekiwake Takayasu (8-1) secured a winning record and is now two wins away from of the required mark for promotion to ozeki -- 33 wins over three tourneys -- after weathering out relentless thrusts from Chiyonokuni (2-7) before swiveling the top-ranked maegashira with an overarm throw.

    "I was on the back foot but I persevered until I got myself into the right position," said Takayasu, who will face Hakuho on Tuesday. "I'll just keep chasing the leaders and try to win the tournament, giving all I have just as I have since day one."

    Mongolian Terunofuji (7-2) won the battle of ozeki after getting a firm hold of the belt with his left all the way through in a force-out win over Goeido (5-4). After a losing record in March, Goeido needs a winning record or will face demotion from sumo's second-highest rank.

    No. 5 rank-and-filer Shodai and the two No. 10 maegashira -- Ura and Georgian Tochinoshin -- are all level with Terunofuji with two losses.

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    Natsu Day 11: Hakuho seizes sole lead as Harumafuji slips up
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    Created on Wednesday, 24 May 2017 13:15
    Written by Kyodo
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    Hakuho benefited from a slip-up by fellow Mongolian grand champion Harumafuji on Wednesday to seize sole possession of the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament lead with four days remaining.

    On a day when Kisenosato became the second grand champion after Kakuryu to make an injury-enforced exit from the 15-day tournament, 37-time Emperor's Cup winner Hakuho improved his mark to 11-0 at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

    Harumafuji is alone in second at 10-1, while promotion-chasing sekiwake Takayasu, ozeki Terunofuji, and the 10th-ranked maegashira pair of Ura and Tochinoshin are tied for third at 9-2.

    Hakuho was given a run for his money in the day's penultimate bout, but once again came through with flying colors, scoring a clinical uwatehineri twisting overarm throw against ozeki Goeido to keep his spotless record.

    Fighting with his rank on the line for the fifth time in his career, Goeido dropped to 6-5 and needs to win at least two more bouts to avoid demotion to sekiwake for the July meet in Nagoya.

    Hakuho seized control when Harumafuji inadvertently stepped over the straw bales to hand komusubi Mitakeumi his fifth win.

    Takayasu put fourth-ranked maegashira Tochiozan (5-6) on his knees to move within one win of the 10 he needs here -- or 33 over three straight tournaments -- to be considered for promotion to sumo's second-highest rank of ozeki.

    Mongolian ozeki Terunofuji had his hands full with Aoiyama (2-9) but bided his time and came through with an overarm throw to put the Bulgarian No. 3 maegashira on the dirt.

    Kotoshogiku survived another day, tipping top-ranked maegashira Chiyonokuni (2-9) over the edge of ring to improve to 4-7.

    Kotoshogiku narrowly missed out on a swift return to ozeki at the last tournament, where he posted a 9-6 record.

    Swami
     
  12. Swami

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    Kisenosato pulls out of summer meet with lingering injuries
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    Created on Wednesday, 24 May 2017 10:54
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    Japanese-born yokozuna Kisenosato, who had been gunning for his third straight title, has withdrawn from the ongoing Summer Grand Sumo Tournament after failing to recover from upper body injuries, sumo officials said Wednesday.

    The 30-year-old wrestler from the Tagonoura stable becomes the second grand champion to pull out of the 15-day meet at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan following Kakuryu, who announced his withdrawal after four days.

    Kisenosato lost his second straight bout in a defeat to sekiwake Kotoshogiku on Tuesday as he dropped to 6-4, while the two Mongolian yokozuna -- Hakuho and Harumafuji -- maintained their unbeaten records at 10-0.

    On Tuesday, Kisenosato, who had missed just one day of competition since his sumo wrestler debut 15 years ago, was easily bumped out of the ring by former ozeki Kotoshogiku.

    After sustaining left arm and left chest muscle injuries on the 13th day of the spring meet in March, Kisenosato rushed his rehab in order to bid for a three-peat, but he has been unable to rely on strength in his left arm since the ninth day of the Tokyo meet.

    "After seeing how he wrestled yesterday we decided he should pull out as he is in no condition for decent sumo," his stablemaster Tagonoura said.

    "He was desperate but just because he's a yokozuna doesn't mean he should compete under any circumstances. He'll get treated and turn his focus to the next tournament."

    Tagonoura revealed that talks were held between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, at which time Kisenosato asked for his approval to sit out the remainder of the tournament as he "cannot exert strength," and has felt that way after his eighth bout.

    Kisenosato will need to undergo a monthlong treatment, but Tagonoura said it does not mean his injuries have been aggravated. It is rather his awareness of his responsibilities as a grand champion that has allowed him to make the tough decision, he said.

    Meanwhile, stablemaster Nishiiwa, who currently serves as coach of the Tagonoura stable, said it was lack of preparation time that forced Kisenosato out of competition.

    "He only had about a week to practice against wrestlers before the meet. You would usually train for about a month after healing from injury so I wish he had more time. I hope he will be able to live up to fans' expectations at the Nagoya basho (in July)," said Nishiiwa.

    It is the second time in his career that Kisenosato has pulled out of a meet, the previous occasion being the 2014 New Year tournament when he was competing as an ozeki.

    Sekiwake Tamawashi, Kisenosato's scheduled opponent for Wednesday, wins by forfeit.

    Swami
     
  13. Swami

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    Natsu Day 12: Hakuho stays in charge to move closer to 38th career title
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    Created on Thursday, 25 May 2017 14:21
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    Mongolian grand champion Hakuho moved a step closer to capturing a record-extending 38th championship title with a routine win over Tochiozan at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Thursday.

    With yokozuna rival Harumafuji having picked up a default win following the withdrawal of his scheduled opponent Takanoiwa earlier in the day, the pressure was on Hakuho in the day's final bout at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

    But Hakuho barely broke sweat as he quickly slapped down fourth-ranked maegashira Tochiozan (5-7) to stay in sole possession of the lead at 12-0 with three days of the tournament remaining.

    Hakuho, who is now 35-2 against Tochiozan, and Harumafuji (11-1) are the only two yokozuna left in the tournament after injuries forced Kakuryu and Kisenosato to pull out earlier in the meet.

    Hakuho missed most of the Spring meet in March owing to toe and thigh injuries but he has been in imperious form on his comeback to the raised ring.

    Mongolian ozeki Terunofuji, sekiwake Takayasu and No. 10 megashira Ura share third place at 10-2.

    Terunofuji moved into double figures after working his way around fifth-ranked maegashira Shodai (8-4) and shunting him out from behind.

    Goeido moved within one win of the eight he needs to retain his ozeki rank, making short work of Bulgarian No. 3 maegashira Aoiyama, who suffered his 10th defeat.

    Takayasu scored an all-important 10th victory, meeting the requirement of 33 wins over three straight tournaments to be considered for promotion to sumo's second-highest rank of ozeki.

    Takayasu fended off Takarafuji (3-9) at the charge and grabbed the fourth-ranked maegashira by the back of his belt before sending him to the dirt with a well-timed overarm throw.

    Fellow sekiwake Tamawashi also emerged victorious in the next bout to move to 9-3, the Mongolian posting a beltless arm throw win after trading blows with third-ranked Daieisho (3-9).

    Komusubi Mitakeumi (6-6) overpowered sekiwake Kotoshogiku and in the process sentenced the former ozeki to a losing 4-8 record.

    Swami
     
  14. Swami

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    Natsu Day 13: Hakuho 1 win away from 38th career title
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    Created on Friday, 26 May 2017 12:34
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    Hakuho capitalized on a defeat for fellow Mongolian grand champion Harumafuji by knocking over Tamawashi to zero in on his 38th career championship title at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Friday.

    Harumafuji fell to his second defeat at the hands of sekiwake Takayasu, who virtually sealed his promotion to ozeki with his 11th win of the tourney, before Hakuho (13-0) took full advantage in the day's finale to keep his record unblemished and move two wins clear.

    After a nervous start, Hakuho got himself into position and surged forward to crush out sekiwake Tamawashi (9-4). He can now secure his first Emperor's Cup in a year with a day to spare on Saturday.

    Hakuho, whose last championship came here at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan with a perfect 15-0 record at last year's Summer tourney, faces ozeki Terunofuji on Saturday, and enters with an 8-4 career record against his countryman.

    Harumafuji and Terunofuji are tied at 11-2 along with Takayasu, who got off to a strong start at the charge but looked dead and buried in the day's penultimate bout after he lost control of Harumafuji's belt.

    Takayasu had his back to Harumafuji but he somehow managed to escape the jaws of defeat, swiveling at the ring's edge and roaring back to slap the yokozuna down.

    The sekiwake needed at least 10 wins here to be considered for ozeki promotion, for a total of 33 over three straight tournaments, but moving up a rank now looks like a mere formality.

    "I've a renewed sense of fulfillment from having continued sumo," Takayasu, whose mother is from the Philippines, said. "I kept plugging away and I'm glad it paid off."

    Swami

    "I've managed to wrestle with confidence from Day 1. I've had lots of cheers even from the ring entering ceremony and that psyched me up even more."

    Japan Sumo Association Chairman Hakkaku said, "You get the feel that Takayasu has become particularly strong at this tournament. Today's win was huge. He's stronger because he's continued to train rigorously."

    Terunofuji kept alive his title hopes, notching an 11th win and condemning fourth-ranked megashira Tochiozan to a losing record (5-8) with a kotenage armlock throw.

    In other bouts, Goeido had to fight tooth and nail against fourth-ranked maegashira Takarafuji (3-10), but prevailed to secure the eighth win he needed to retain his ozeki rank.

    Goeido, who won last year's Autumn tourney with a perfect record, was fighting to save his ozeki rank for the fifth time. He posted a 1-5-9 losing mark after pulling out of the Spring meet on the sixth day with an ankle injury.

    With only pride left to fight for after suffering a majority of losses on Thursday, sekiwake Kotoshogiku posted a fifth win, locking up second-ranked maegashira Okinoumi (1-12) and bundling him over the ridge.

    Ura started the day tied for third place at 10-2, but the 10th-ranked maegashira was slapped down to his third defeat by sixth-ranked Ikioi (9-4).
     
  15. Swami

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    Natsu Day 14: Hakuho clinches 38th championship title
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    Created on Saturday, 27 May 2017 12:38
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    Mongolian grand champion Hakuho defeated ozeki Terunofuji on Saturday to capture a record-extending 38th career title with a day to spare at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament.

    Starting the day with a two-win cushion, Hakuho outlasted his countryman in a tightly contested bout at Ryogoku Kokugikan to improve his record to 14-0.

    The championship title was Hakuho's first since winning this tournament last year with a perfect 15-0 mark.

    Hakuho was making his comeback at this tournament having missed most of the March tournament due to toe and thigh injuries.

    "It's been a while since I have been in the championship interview room," smiled Hakuho. "(Because of injuries) I have had rehab and had to build up my body and finally (I have won again)."

    "I took each bout as it came and I think I wrestled well. Hopefully I'll finish off on the right note tomorrow."

    Terunofuji (11-3) gave as good as he got as the pair shoved each other back and forth after a couple of brief stalemates. But Hakuho drew back and spotted an opening to get both arms around the ozeki and muscle Terunofuji over the edge.

    Mongolian yokozuna Harumafuji suffered a second straight defeat, getting slapped to the dirt by ozeki Goeido (9-5) in the day's last bout to drop to 11-3

    Takayasu virtually sealed promotion to ozeki with his 11th win in Friday's bout against Harumafuji, but the sekiwake came a cropper and dropped to 11-3, crushed out by fifth-ranked maegashira Shodai (9-5).

    In order to qualify for promotion to the sport's second-highest rank, Takayasu came into the meet needing a minimum of 10 wins for a total of 33 over three straight tournaments.

    Sekiwake Kotoshogiku gave his losing mark a little more respectability, driving out third-ranked maegashira Daieisho (3-11) for an easy sixth win.

    Swami
     
  16. Swami

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    Natsu Day 15: Hakuho outlasts Harumafuji to finish with perfect record
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    Created on Sunday, 28 May 2017 15:50
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    A day after clinching his 38th career championship, yokozuna Hakuho put the icing on the cake Sunday, when he finished the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament with a perfect 15-0 record.

    Although their bout had no impact on the championship, Hakuho and fellow Mongolian yokozuna Harumafuji went at each other for keeps, with Hakuho outlasting his compatriot in a 1-minute, 27-second endurance contest and forcing him out to an 11-4 record.

    Hakuho, who entered the 15-day event at Ryogoku Kokugikan owning the record for most championships won, repeated his feat from a year ago, when he won his last title in July without a single defeat.

    "It's been a long time to stand here when they played the national anthem. It doesn't get any better than this," said the 32-year-old. "Last September I needed surgery and a lot of rehab, but I believed all along that this day would come and I persevered."

    Takayasu, whose promotion to ozeki is only waiting to be rubber-stamped by the Japan Sumo Association, finished the meet with two straight losses, thrown down to an 11-4 record at the hands of Mongolian ozeki Terunofuji (12-3).

    The Tagonoura stable sekiwake, however, received some consolation by winning his second career Technique Prize, his third special prize in three tournaments. Also winning the technique award was komusubi Yoshikaze, who defeated two yokozuna and one ozeki.

    Hakuho praised the sekiwake's rise through the ranks.

    "Takayasu has done so well. He's pushed me to set an example, to stay a step ahead of him," Hakuho said. "I've been an obstacle to him, and when you run into a wall, you have to get stronger. And he has."

    Yoshikaze finished with an 8-7 mark following his defeat to No. 7 maegashira Hokutofuji (10-5).

    Komusubi Mitakeumi, who defeated a pair of yokozuna, Kakuryu and Harumafuji, won his first career Outstanding Performance Prize for his first special prize in two tournaments. Mitakeumi fell on Sunday to finish at 8-7, forced out by No. 5 Shodai (10-5).

    Onosho, a 14th-ranked maegashira who made his debut in the elite makuuchi division, was awarded a Fighting Spirit Prize, but finished with a 10-5 record after a final-day defeat to No. 7 Takakeisho (11-4).

    Ozeki Goeido, having secured his ozeki status for another two tourneys with a winning record here, had to settle for nine wins after being slapped down by sekiwake Tamawashi (10-5).

    Former ozeki Kotoshogiku (7-8) got a warm round of applause when he finished with a win over No. 6 Ikioi (9-6), but the sekiwake left the ring with a downcast expression.

    Swami
     

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