Josh Hornik Blog

August 03, 2006

Final update - Sumo July Tournament

Much delayed, but here's the final results of the sumo tournament:

Asashoryu back in the winner's circle. It was his 17th championship.
However, he did lose a match -- on the final day, to Hakuho. Hakuho ended up 13-2. Not good enough to get a promotion to Yokozuna, but it was good enough to keep Yokozuna hopes alive for next tournament. If he wins in September, and probably if he wins 13 or more matches, he'll be promoted.
The rest of the Ozeki's were all pretty average: Chiyotaikai 9-6, Kaio 9-6, Koto'oshu 8-7, Tochiazuma 8-7.
Baruto didn't quite dominate like I thought he would -- his march to Ozeki slows, but he will move up next tournament. He finished 9-6.

Posted by JoshHornik at 02:28 PM | Comments (0)

July 18, 2006

Sumo Update - Day 10

Asashoryu still undefeated. It's the 12th time he's gone 10-0 and of the 11 previous times, he won the tournament every time. He's the only undefeated wrestler left, as usual.

Hakuho lost another, so it's not looking like he's going to make Yokozuna, but you never know.

10-0: Asashoryu
9-1: Chiyotaikai, Tamanoshima, Tamakasuga
8-2: Hakuho, Tochiazuma
7-3: Kaio
6-4: Koto'oshu, Baruto
3-7: Takamisakari

Posted by JoshHornik at 08:14 PM | Comments (0)

July 16, 2006

Sumo Update from Nashville

No, Sumo isn't in Nashville. I am, but the tournament goes on, so here's a quick report.

It is day 8, halfway through the tournament, and anyone who wondered if Asashoryu's elbow injury from last tournament would still be hurting him this time got their answer. Asashoryu is 8-0 and tied for the lead. Also 8-0 is Tochiazuma -- he needed 8 wins to stay at Ozeki next tournament -- i guess that wasn't a problem.
Last tournament's winner Hakuho is looking for another win to make Yokozuna. But he suffered a shocking loss on day 1. However, since then, he's won every match, so he's right in it.
Also 7-1: Chiyotaikai. Other ozeki's: Koto'oshu at 6-2 and Kaio at 5-3.
Miyabiyama is trying to get promoted back to Ozeki, but it doesn't look good, since he's only 4-4.
And the giant Baruto is down to 5-3 after losing 2 in a row.

8-0: Asashoryu, Tochiazuma
7-1: Hakuho, Chiyotaikai, Tamanoshima, Tamakasuga
6-2: Koto'oshu
5-3: Kaio, Kotomitsuki, Baruto

Posted by JoshHornik at 06:32 AM | Comments (0)

May 26, 2006

Summer Sumo Tournament Wrapup

The May Sumo tournament in Tokyo just concluded, and it may have seen the emergence of two of the stars of the future.

First, Yokozuna Asashoryu took a hard fall early on and had to drop out of the tournament with an elbow injury. (No word yet on whether he'll be healed in time for July's tournament.) This left the tournament wide open for anyone to win.

And that left brand new Ozeki Hakuho as the favorite. Living up to the new ranking, he proceeded to go 14-1 and then win the tournament in a tiebreaker. If Asashoryu doesn't make it back by July, look for Hakuho to be a strong favorite to win his 2nd in a row and gain a quick promotion to Yokozuna.
New Ozeki Hakuho won the Summer Sumo tournament

Hakuho's opponent in the tiebreaker was the man with the worst pec's in all of sports, Miyabiyama. He always hangs around with the top wrestlers, so it wasn't too surprising, but I don't look for him to do it again any time soon.

Baruto makes almost unfair use of his superhuman strength

The next biggest splash in the tournament was made by Estonian giant Baruto. After going 15-0 in the Juryo (Sumo's AAA minor league) last tournament, Baruto was promoted to the top level of Sumo. Despite being too young and having hair too short to make the traditional Sumo topknot, he was man enough to go 12-3 and stay in the race for the championship until the last couple days. Clearly too much for the low-ranked wrestlers, Baruto will be up in the top ranks before long. And not only does he have some skill, he seemed from interviews and candid shots to have a likable personality, too.

In other news, Tochiazuma choked again attempting to make Yokozuna and finally dropped out of the tournament with an injury, Chiyotaikai looked good but faded at the end, Kaio hung around for a little while, and Koto'oshu lost some more luster with an average tournament.

My personal favorites Kyokushuzan and Asasekiryu had great tournaments and everyone's favorite Takamisakari managed a winning record by winning on the last day, to stave off demotion to the minors.

Posted by JoshHornik at 10:02 PM | Comments (0)

March 26, 2006

Looks like 2005 again

Wacky end to the Sumo tournament, but a familiar result: Asashoryu wins his 16th championship.

Kaio came up big and beat Hakuho to get to 8-7 and keep his Sumo career alive. Hakuho dropped to 13-2.

All Asashoryu needed to do was beat Tochiazuma to win the tournament, but amazingly, Tochiazuma managed to beat Asashoryu. Tochiazuma keeps his Yokozuna promotion hopes alive for next tournament (13 wins next tournament will earn him promotion).

And Asashoryu had to face Hakuho in the first all-Mongolian playoff in Sumo history. Asashoryu got his revenge from the loss Hakuho handed him earlier in the tournament and denied Hakuho his first championship. Now, Asashoryu has won 8 of the last 9 tournaments.

Asashoryu beats Hakuho for the Spring Sumo tournament championship

This was the tournament of the Mongolians, as Asashoryu won, Hakuho won the Outstanding Performance prize and a Technique prize, Kyokushuzan (11-4) won a Fighting Spirit prize, and Ama (8-7 and heading for promotion to the top ranks) also won a Technique prize.

Or maybe the tournament of the foreigners, as Baruto (the Ivan Drago of Sumo) from Estonia went undefeated, 15-0, in Juryo. He's the first Juryo wrestler to go 15-0 since 1963.

Final Standings:
13-2 Asashoryu, Hakuho
12-3 Tochiazuma
11-4 Wakanosato, Kyokushuzan
10-5 Kisenosato (young Japanese wrestler will be moving up the ranks to take on all the Mongolians)
9-6 Chiyotaikai, Koto'oshu (battling some ankle injury, lost his last 3)
8-7 Kaio
7-8 Takamisakari (another demotion -- Takamisakari getting dangerously close to droppping down to Juryo level)

Next tournament is in Tokyo in May. It will be Asashoryu vs. 5 Ozeki's (including Hakuho after his promotion). And Baruto will be at the bottom of the big leagues, representing for Estonia.

Posted by JoshHornik at 07:39 AM | Comments (0)

March 25, 2006

On to the last day...

Asashoryu beat Koto'oshu and Hakuho beat Wakanosato, so it comes down to the last day.

On day 15, Asashoryu faces Tochiazuma (now 11-3, and needs to beat Asashoryu to continue his quest for Yokozuna promotion next tournament).

Hakuho goes up against Kaio, who beat Chiyotaikai to even his record at 7-7. That means Kaio needs to beat Hakuho to stay at Ozeki (and not be forced to retire). Kaio's managed to win 3 of his last 4, so maybe he actually has enough to win it.

If both Asashoryu and Hakuho win, then they take each other on in a tiebreaker match (a chance for Asashoryu to get revenge for his 1 loss this tournament).

Posted by JoshHornik at 08:25 AM | Comments (0)

March 24, 2006

Sumo - 2 days to go

Only 2 days left and it's all knotted up.

Hakuho lost to Tochiazuma on Day 12 and Asashoryu beat Kaio to tie him. Today they both won to go to 12-1. Asashoryu beat Ozeki Chiyotaikai and Hakuho beat fellow Sekiwake Kotomitsuki.

Looks like Asashoryu faces Koto'oshu tomorrow and Tochiazuma Sunday, while Hakuho faces Wakanosato (the scrub who finally got the respect of the match-schedulers, only to lose his 3rd and fall out of contention) tomorrow and Kaio on the last day. That Hakuho-Kaio match could be huge -- Hakuho will probably be going for the championship and Kaio could be 7-7 and need to win to save his career. (Kaio won today to keep his hopes alive, at 6-7, and faces Kotomitsuki tomorrow.)

Hakuho, with 12 wins already, is assured his Ozeki promotion for next tournament. He'll be the 4th youngest Ozeki ever (Takanohana was the youngest). He'll also be the 6th foreigner to make Ozeki and 2nd Mongolian. And now the question becomes -- how long until he makes Yokozuna?

In other news, another Mongolian who's little but has great skill, Kyokushuzan, is 10-3. Retarded-looking Takamisakari has lost 4 in a row and needs to win his last 2 to keep from sinking to the bottom of the Sumo major leagues. And Estonian monster Baruto won the Juryo (2nd highest level - triple-A minor league) championship.

12-1 Asashoryu, Hakuho
10-3 Tochiazuma, Wakanosato, Kyokushuzan
9-4 Koto'oshu, (Great Japanese Hope) Kisenosato
8-5 Chiyotaikai, Kotomitsuki
6-7 Kaio, Takamisakari

Posted by JoshHornik at 06:46 AM | Comments (0)

March 22, 2006

Advantage HAKUHO

In the battle of 10-0 wrestlers, Hakuho beat Asashoryu and took the tournament lead. He also assured promotion to Ozeki for next tournament.

So, one promotion will happen and one won't, as Tochiazuma lost to hanging-onto-Ozeki-by-his-fingernails Kaio to drop to 8-3. Tochiazuma won't get promoted to Yokozuna even if he wins the rest of his matches, but if he does manage that (which he won't), he'll be alive for Yokozuna promotion after the next tournament. Meanwhile, Kaio has decided he will stay in this tournament to the last day, even if he gets a losing record. It's unclear if he'll come back for the next tournament as a Sekiwake if he gets demoted, or if he'll retire.

With Tochiazuma losing, the only wrestler other than Hakuho and Asashoryu with a realistic chance is Wakanosato. Well, he's 9-2, anyway. I guess he could get lucky.

11-0: Hakuho
10-1: Asashoryu
9-2: Wakanosato
8-3: Tochiazuma, Koto'oshu, Chiyotaikai, Kisenosato (next great Japanese hope)
6-5: Takamisakari
5-6: Kaio

Posted by JoshHornik at 05:57 PM | Comments (0)

March 21, 2006

Sumo Update - Day 10

Clash of the Titans today, when Asashoryu faces Hakuho for the tournament lead. Both are undefeated, 10-0 (as I predicted), after Hakuho defeated Koto'oshu and Asashoryu beat Kotomitsuki. The winner today will be in the driver's seat for the championship, but will have a lot of tough matches still to go.

Meanwhile, Kaio lost again to fall to 4-6. He now has to go 4-1 to stay at Ozeki and, most likely, stave off retirement.

Chiyotaikai has all but sewn up remaining an Ozeki. He's 7-3 and needs just one more win in his next 5 matches.

Tochiazuma is still hanging onto Yokozuna promotion (and championship) hopes, at 8-2. If he can win all the rest of his matches, he'll be promoted and end Asashoryu's record string of tournaments as the only Yokozuna.

Koto'oshu and Kotomitsuki are still hanging in, 3 wins off the lead, but with only 5 days left, they're pretty much out of it.

10-0 Asashoryu, Hakuho
8-2 Tochiazuma, Wakanosato (this tournament's top scrub)
7-3 Koto'oshu, Chiyotaikai, Kotomitsuki
6-4 Miyabiyama, Takamisakari
4-6 Kaio

Posted by JoshHornik at 09:45 AM | Comments (0)

March 19, 2006

Sumo - day 8

2 man race?

At "the turn", halfway through the tournament, and it's looking like a 2-man race between Yokozuna Asashoryu and Sekiwake (soon-to-be Ozeki) Hakuho. Both won yesterday to go to 8-0 -- Asashoryu over Georgian Kokkai and Hakuho over the Ozeki Chiyotaikai. For Hakuho, it's his first time going 8-0; for Asashoryu, the 15th time he's done it. Because there are 3 Ozeki's that Asashoryu will have to face on the last 3 days, the big Asashoryu-Hakuho match should be coming up in a few days. Look for them both to go undefeated until then.

In other news, Ozeki Tochiazuma took a 2nd loss on Saturday, putting severe pressure on his attempt at Yokozuna promotion. (Will probably have to win the rest of his matches, including Koto'oshu, Hakuho, and Asashoryu.)

Kaio staves off retirement for another day, evening his record at 4-4. Needs to go 4-3 from now on to stay at Ozeki. And Chiyotaikai has lost 3 in a row after winning his first 5, so he needs to go 3-4 to avoid demotion.

Koto'oshu and Kotomitsuki, at 6-2, are staying alive in the race in case Asashoryu and Hakuho get upset.


8-0 Asashoryu, Hakuho
7-1 Wakanosato (the proverbial 'scrub', ranked Maegashira #11)
6-2 Tochiazuma, Koto'oshu, Kotomitsuki
5-3 Chiyotaikai, Takamisakari
4-4 Kaio

Match of the day: Hakuho vs. Koto'oshu

Posted by JoshHornik at 12:46 PM | Comments (0)

March 17, 2006

Sumo Update - day 6

Standings after day 6:

6-0: Asashoryu, Hakuho
5-1: Tochiazuma, Chiyotaikai, Kotomitsuki
4-2: Koto'oshu, Kisenosato, Takamisakari, Hakurozan, Kyokushuzan
2-4: Kaio

Asashoryu looking strong, and Hakuho looking good to get his promotion to Ozeki.
Tochiazuma is still in it for promotion to Yokozuna, but he'll have to beat at least a couple of Asashoryu, Hakuho, Chiyotaikai, and Koto'oshu.
Chiyotaikai lost his first today, but still looks good to stay at Ozeki -- unlike Kaio who, at 2-4, is looking like a good bet to retire. He's hanging in to see if he has a chance to get his 8 wins, but if not, I think he will retire -- finally.

Posted by JoshHornik at 02:02 PM | Comments (0)

March 14, 2006

Spring Sumo Tournament - Day 3

The Spring Sumo tournament has started in Osaka.

Top stories:

- Tochiazuma goes for Yokozuna promotion. Ozeki Tochiazuma won the last tournament and if he can win again, or maybe get a lot of wins and come in 2nd, he'll be promoted to Yokozuna. He already lost one match - 2-1, not the best start.

- Hakuho goes for Ozeki promotion. Hakuho, currently sekiwake, will be promoted to Ozeki if he can win probably 12 or 13 matches. Seems like he's fully recovered from last year's leg injury and, off to a fast 3-0 start, he'll probably compete for the championship and get his Ozeki promotion.

- Kaio and Chiyotaikai are both 'kadoban'. That means they need to win 8 or they'll be demoted from Ozeki. It's the 9th time in this situation for both, which is an Ozeki Lameness record. Chiyotaikai looks good to get 8, at 3-0, but Kaio has lost 1 match already.

- Asashoryu back to the top? Asashoryu is 3-0 and looking strong again. I wouldn't bet against him winning every tournament for the rest of the year.

And the final contender, Koto'oshu, lost on day 2 but should still contend for the championship.

Posted by JoshHornik at 10:39 AM | Comments (0)

January 22, 2006

Tochiazuma Wins

Well, Hakuho did what he had to, beating Koto'oshu to go to 13-2. But then his fellow Mongolian Asashoryu let him down. Tochiazuma got a good grip on Asashoryu's belt, with a quick face-off, and it didn't take him long to throw Asashoryu down to go to 14-1 and win his 3rd championship.Tochiazuma flings Asashoryu
Tochiazuma teaches Asashoryu how to fly

So, Asashoryu ended up 11-4, only 2 fewer losses than he had all year last year. Koto'oshu ended up 10-5 in his first tournament as Ozeki. (Look for Hakuho, who got the Outstanding Performance Award, to join him at Ozeki within a couple tournaments.) Roho ended at 9-6 and looks good for promotion to the top ranks next tournament. Ama also ended up 9-6. Kokkai ended up 8-7 by beating Takamisakari and dropping him to 7-8 (no Hawaii trip for Takamisakari's Mom). Hokutoriki ended up 3rd in the tournament at 12-3 and he won the Fighting Spirit Prize. And Tokitsuumi also went 12-3 and won the Technique Prize.

Next tournament starts March 12. Asashoryu will be looking to take back the crown, and Hakuho will be looking to earn his Ozeki promotion.

Posted by JoshHornik at 08:57 PM | Comments (0)

January 21, 2006

No V8 for Asashoryu! 2 left for title!

Asashoryu beat Koto'oshu yesterday, but before the match had even started, he had watched Tochiazuma beat Hokutoriki, making his match irrelevant.

In fact, by winning and taking his record to a tournament-best 13-1, Tochiazuma took everyone but one other wrestler out of the competition. Hokutoriki fell to 11-3. Asashoryu also stands at 11-3, and Koto'oshu dropped to 10-4 with his loss. Tokitsuumi lost to drop to 11-3, as well.

The only wrestler left with a chance to catch Tochiazuma is Hakuho, who beat Tokitsuumi to raise his record to 12-2.

So it all comes down to the last 2 matches of the final day. First, Hakuho faces Koto'oshu. If Hakuho beats Koto'oshu, he puts the pressure on Tochiazuma, but if he loses, Tochiazuma wins the tournament.

Then, Asashoryu can't win his 8th tournament in a row, but he can play spoiler to Tochiazuma. If Hakuho wins, then an Asashoryu win over Tochiazuma would send Hakuho and Tochiazuma to a playoff. (Hakuho lost to Tochiazuma in their match on day 8.)

And in other news, Georgian Kokkai and "Robocop" Takamisakari both stand at 7-7 and go against each other on the last day to determine who gets promoted and who gets demoted. Also, Takamisakari promised his mother he'd give her a trip to Hawaii if he wins 8 or more, so a lot is riding on tomorrow's match.

Posted by JoshHornik at 12:22 PM | Comments (0)

January 20, 2006

No 6-way tie! Tochiazuma leads!

In what I called a "breather" for the Yokozuna, Asashoryu was shocked by Ama and knocked almost out of contention for the title. Ama, the smallest wrestler in the top level, actually managed to get lower than Asashoryu (who usually gets very low himself) and used the advantage to spin Asashoryu around and finally down. Ama goes to 9-4 and Asahoryu down to 10-3 and 2 behind the leader.

The leader, all by himself now, is Tochiazuma at 12-1 after beating Koto'oshu. In a pretty impressive show of strength by Tochiazuma (who's about a foot shorter than the Bulgarian giant), Koto'oshu never had a chance and ended up getting pushed out. Koto'oshu joins Asashoryu at the barely-alive 2 back with 2 days left.

Tochiazuma is the only 1-loss wrestler left, because Hakuho beat the other, Hokutoriki. Hakuho, my new pick to win the tournament, looked strong again and got his record to 11-2, just 1 back. Hokutoriki fell to 11-2.

Today's matches:
Hakuho vs. Tokitsuumi (the other wrestler 1 back at 11-2)
Tochiazuma vs. Hokutoriki
Asashoryu vs. Koto'oshu

There could be a 3-way tie after today w/ Asashoryu or Koto'oshu just 1 back, if Hokutoriki beats Tochiazuma. If Tochiazuma wins, he will probably still have to beat Asashoryu on the last day to win it without a playoff.

Posted by JoshHornik at 06:52 PM | Comments (0)

January 19, 2006

Asashoryu loses! 6 within 1 win of lead!

This is now officially the most competitive Sumo tournament since September of 2004, the last time 6 wrestlers were within 1 of the lead after 12 days.

There are 2 tied for the lead at 11-1, and 4 tied for 2nd at 10-2. Asashoryu yesterday joined the 1-behind gang, losing to the guy I predicted might be trouble for him this time, Hakuho. Hakuho is also 10-2 now. Asashoryu was looking pretty good, pushing Hakuho back and working to get a grip on his belt, when Hakuho made a lightning-fast move to lock Asashoryu's arm, whip his body around and yank Asashoryu down and out. (And by the look of Asashoryu rubbing his shoulder, pretty nearly pull Asashoryu's arm out of its socket.)

The cushions went flying (that's what the fans do when someone beats a Yokozuna) and then there were 2 in the lead: Ozeki Tochiazuma and the guy I better stop calling a scrub, Hokutoriki.

Meanwhile, the other 2 wrestlers 1 back include Koto'oshu, who won his 7th match in a row and looks nearly unbeatable now, and another scrub from the bottom of the rankings, Tokitsuumi.

With only 3 days left, the tournament really gets interesting now. Today, the 2 Ozeki's (Tochiazuma and Koto'oshu) go up against each other, then they take turns going up against Asashoryu on days 14 & 15. Asashoryu goes up against an out-of-his-league Ama today for a breather, before the 2 Ozeki's on the weekend. With a little help from Koto'oshu beating Tochiazuma, and Hakuho beating Hokutoriki, there could be a 6-way tie for first after day 13!

Posted by JoshHornik at 06:32 PM | Comments (0)

January 16, 2006

Sumo Update - Day 9

9 days down, 6 to go, and this is still one of the most competitive tournaments in ages.

Our leader: Hokutoriki, ranked Maegashira #11 (translated: scrub, although he did compete for a championship in some tournament in the last couple years). Hokutoriki is feasting on the low-ranked wrestlers, and he's the only wrestler yet to lose. 9-0.

Hokutoriki, current King of the Scrubs

The real competition is at the top of the standings.
At 8-1, Yokozuna Asashoryu with 7 straight wins (most very easy) since a shocking day 2 loss. Also at 8-1, Ozeki Tochiazuma, who lost his first match yesterday.

At 7-2, new Ozeki Koto'oshu, plus Sekiwake's Kotomitsuki and Hakuho. Also 4 Maegashira's, including dangerous Russian wrestler Roho.

In why-don't-you-just-retire-already news, Ozeki's Kaio and Chiyotaikai have both dropped out of the tournament due to injury.

Match of the day tomorrow: Asashoryu vs. Kotomitsuki

Posted by JoshHornik at 06:58 PM | Comments (0)

January 11, 2006

Some Sumo, so sue me!

Oh, yeah! That time again.
After a truly dominant year 2005 by Yokozuna Asashoryu, it's time to start 2006 with the New Year's Tournament.

To recap the storylines:
Asashoryu has won 7 tournaments in a row. He won more matches (84 out of 90) in 2005 than any Sumo wrestler ever won in a single year.
He has been the only Yokozuna in Sumo for over 2 years now (a record). And of the Ozeki's (2nd highest rank), at least one has been in danger of losing his rank for 8 tournaments in a row. In other words, he has had no competition.

But we start 2006 with the possibility of some competition for Asashoryu:
1) Koto'oshu just got promoted to Ozeki. It was the fastest promotion ever (since the time he started in Sumo), and he's the first from Europe (Bulgaria, to be exact.)
2) Hakuho, who looked like the newest star of Sumo about 6 months ago, then got hurt, looks to be completely healed and ready to compete with the best again. He's currently a Sekiwake (the rank just under Ozeki).
3) With 4 Ozeki's now, someone will have to be able to hang with Asashoryu.

OK, we're through day 4 now and here's the big news:
- Koto'oshu lost on day 1. He did that last tournament, too. I think he was too nervous on his first day as Ozeki. He's won 3 in a row since then, though.
- Asashoryu lost on day 2. Just a great match by Georgian wrestler Kokkai. Asashoryu seemed pretty pissed. He's won all his other matches, but now the pressure is on if he wants to beat 84 wins this year.
- Hakuho definitely looks like he's back in health. He's undefeated.
- Of the other Ozeki's, Kaio is looking bad again at 1-3, Chiyotaikai looks OK but he lost one, and Tochiazuma, who is this tournament's Ozeki in danger of losing his rank (needs 8 wins or he's demoted), is undefeated.

4-0 -- Tochiazuma, Hakuho, and 2 scrubs
3-1 -- Asashoryu, Chiyotaikai, Koto'oshu, Kotomitsuki, Roho
2-2 -- Takamisakari
1-3 -- Kaio

Posted by JoshHornik at 06:46 PM | Comments (0)

December 05, 2005

Asashoryu and Koto'oshu: Mission Accomplished

Somewhat late, but here is the final update from the Kyushu tournament.

Asashoryu went 14-1, won the tournament, and broke 3 of the greatest records in Sumo:

- 7 tournament championships in a row. (Never done before.)

- A perfect 6-for-6 in a calendar year. (Never done before.)

- 84 wins in one calendar year (an 84-6 record). Best all-time.

Asashoryu celebrates his 7th straight championship

Asashoryu has now won 15 tournaments in his career, putting him 5th all time (7 behind Takanohana in 4th).

Meanwhile, Koto'oshu, the only wrestler to beat Asashoryu this tournament, finished 11-4 (after a disappointing loss to Kaio on the last day). That was enough for him to warrant promotion to Ozeki. He broke a record himself -- the fastest promotion to Ozeki ever. (Also the first Ozeki born in Europe.) Koto'oshu also picked up both the Outstanding Performance award and a Fighting Spirit award.

Other award winners were:
Fighting Spirit -- Miyabiyama and Tochinohana
Technique -- Tokitenku

Other final records:
Ozekis - Chiyotaikai 11-4 Kaio 10-5
Kotomitsuki 8-7
Hakuho 9-6
Russian brothers Roho and Hakurozan both went 10-5
Takamisakari lost his last 5 matches to end up 7-8

Posted by JoshHornik at 10:34 PM | Comments (0)

November 21, 2005

Sumo - Day 9

Quick update:

Asashoryu's lead is now 2. Asashoryu almost looked bored, his win was so easy. He's now 9-0, and, because Kotomitsuki lost, he has a 2-match lead over his nearest competition. But, he says, "I don't worry about my opponent's records." He also set a new personal best for wins in 1 year, with 79 (3 away from all-time best).

Koto'oshu won again, to go to 7-2 and only 3 wins away from Ozeki-dom.

9-0: Asashoryu
7-2: Chiyotaikai, Koto'oshu, Kotomitsuki, Jumonji (lowest ranked wrestler in top level -- in other words, not a threat to win)
6-3: Kaio, Hakuho, Roho, Takamisakari, Kyokushuzan, Hakurozan (Roho's brother)

Match of the day for tomorrow: Kaio vs. Kotomitsuki

Posted by JoshHornik at 09:32 AM | Comments (0)

November 20, 2005

Sumo - Day 8

Halfway through the tournament now, with Asashoryu leading, as usual. He has cruised through the first half without a loss, beating Futeno (back from injury) with a nice leg trip today. At 78-5 for the year, he just needs to go 5-2 to break the all-time record for wins in one year.

Koto'oshu lost to his rival Kisenosato on Saturday, but won again today, to go to 6-2. 5-2 in the second half, maybe even 4-3, should get him promoted to Ozeki (though he still has to face Asashoryu and both Ozekis, so it won't be easy).

Kaio is 5-3 and with his win today, tied Takanohana on the career wins list with 794 wins. (The power of hanging around and getting 8 or 9 wins for years and years.) He just needs to go 3-4 to stay at Ozeki.

In second place is Kotomitsuki at 7-1, though he has yet to face any of the highest-ranked wrestlers.

Besides Koto'oshu, 5 other wrestlers are 2 back at 6-2: Ozeki Chiyotaikai and low-rankers Roho, Kyokushuzan, Kasuganishiki, and Jumonji.

Posted by JoshHornik at 11:38 AM | Comments (0)

November 17, 2005

Kyushu Tournament - Day 5

The sumo tournament is already 1/3 over. So far, it's going as expected.

Today, all of the undefeated wrestlers except one lost, leaving -- of course -- Asashoryu as the tournament leader at 5-0. Asashoryu, looking to win his 7th consecutive tournament and complete the Grand Slam, winning all 6 tournaments in one calendar year (both of which have never been done before), hasn't even been in trouble since day 1 and looks stronger every day. He's currently 75-5 for the year. I don't know what the record if for wins in 1 year, but he must be close.

His competition is looking again like it will be Koto'oshu, the Bulgarian wrestler. After a shocking loss on day 1, he has won all his matches, to stand 1 back at 4-1. If he wins 12 or more this time, he will be promoted to the 2nd-highest rank, Ozeki.

Also at 4-1 is Ozeki Chiyotaikai, who never looks like that good a wrestler, but seems to win anyway.

The other Ozeki, Kaio, is 3-2 and looking awfully inconsistent. He needs 8 wins to remain at Ozeki. (Again. He is tied -- with Chiyotaikai -- for most times in this situation -- i.e. worst Ozeki ever. And they say Asashoryu doesn't have as much competition as other great Yokozunas...)

And in the most interesting match of the day today, Kakizoe had the win over Kyokutenho, then had it taken away by penalty when it was determined he had pulled on Kyokutenho's top-knot (one of the few illegal moves in Sumo).

5-0: Asashoryu
4-1: Chiyotaikai, Koto'oshu, Kotomitsuki (also near Ozeki promotion), Roho (Russian wrestler finally back in form)
3-2: Kaio, Kyokutenho, Hakuho (maybe coming back after a couple bad tournaments due to injury), Ama (smallest wrestler, and therefore one of my favorites), Takamisakari (everyone's favorite, looking stronger than I've seen him in several tournaments)

Injured: Ozeki Tochiazuma, personal favorite (for speaking abilities) Futeno

Posted by JoshHornik at 11:49 AM | Comments (0)

October 06, 2005

Sumo in Vegas, Baby!

I am off to Las Vegas this weekend for the big Vegas Sumo tournament! I will be seeing sights like this:

Now those are what I call Whales!

And how can I not play blackjack (or is it burakkujakku?) on a table that looks like this?

Asashoryu -- Blackjack Yokozuna

Posted by JoshHornik at 05:57 PM | Comments (0)

September 27, 2005

Asashoryu come-from-behind win! Asa Slam!

Asashoryu won his 6th tournament in a row

OK, final wrap-up on the Fall Sumo tournament in Tokyo.
Asashoryu won both of his last matches against the Ozeki's. Both were pretty easy. His match against Tochiazuma on the last day was so easy, it seemed almost like a dive. One hit to the side of the head and Tochiazuma crumpled.
Meanwhile, though I predicted 2 losses, Koto'oshu managed to win on day 15 to force a playoff. Unfortunately, Asashoryu was too strong for him in the playoff, winning pretty easily by pushing Koto'oshu out. Asashoryu won his 6th in a row (only ever been done by one other wrestler) and his 14th overall (5th place all time).
Koto'oshu and Kisenosato, who won on day 15 to give himself a chance at the tournament at 12-3, both won Fighting Spirit prizes.

Final scores:

Yokozuna Asashoryu 13-2
Ozeki Tochiazuma 10-5
Ozeki Chiyotaikai 10-5
Sekiwake Koto'oshu 13-2
Komusubi Kotomitsuki 9-6
Komusubi Futeno 5-10 (ouch)
Maegashira #1 Hakuho 10-5 (will return to the top ranks next tournament)
Maegashira #5 Takamisakari 5-10 (back to the bottom of the rankings and a probable 9-6 record next tournament)
Maegashira #10 Asasekiryu 6-2-7 (too bad he got hurt, because he looked good when he was there. if he's healthy, he'll kick ass at the bottom of the list next tournament.)
Maegashira #11 Ama 9-6 (smallest wrestler might be overmatched next tournament)
Maegashira #16 Kisenosato 12-3 (would have been the youngest ever to win. we'll see if he's for real in the middle of the rankings next tournament.)

In Juryo, Baruto finished 12-3 and was the only wrestler to beat Juryo champion Toyonoshima. Expect him in the majors soon.

Posted by JoshHornik at 06:05 PM | Comments (0)

September 23, 2005

Remember who's the Yokozuna

Asashoryu shows Koto'oshu who's boss

In a match that lived up to the hype, Asashoryu temporarily righted the Sumo world by putting Koto'oshu in his place. Showing crazy quickness that no 300-pound Sumo wrestler should have, Asashoryu pulled off a miracle escape. Having gotten twisted around to where Koto'oshu had his belt and Asashoryu's back was to Koto'oshu (a position that almost always spells doom), Asashoryu shoved Koto'oshu backwards with his shoulder then broke free and spun himself around -- in about 1 second. He then got positioning on a disoriented Koto'oshu and spun him around and down by his neck.

It prevented Koto'oshu from winning the tournament (since Kisenosato had lost earlier), and it was good to see Asashoryu remind him who's the boss. But Koto'oshu still leads the tournament by 1 match with only 2 days left. Koto'oshu (12-1) goes up against Kisenosato (who still has a chance to win it all, at 10-3) tomorrow, then Chiyotaikai (also still in it at 10-3) on Sunday. Asashoryu gets the 2 Ozekis, Chiyotaikai and Tochiazuma (9-4) in the next 2 days.

My prediction: Asashoryu wins both, Koto'oshu loses both. Asashoryu wins the Asa slam without even needing a playoff.

Posted by JoshHornik at 10:41 AM | Comments (1)

September 22, 2005

Sumo - Day 12

Quick Sumo update with 3 days to go.

Status quo on the top of the leaderboard, as Kisenosato, Koto'oshu and Asashoryu all won their matches. Koto'oshu continues to lead by 2 with only 3 days left.

The match of the tournament is the last match of the day tomorrow: Asashoryu vs. Koto'oshu. If Kisenosato loses his match earlier, then Koto'oshu will be going for the championship. If Asashoryu wins, however, he's only 1 back. And with Koto'oshu up against Chiyotaikai (who has looked great and is up to 9-3) on Sunday, anything is possible.

Exciting weekend ahead...

Posted by JoshHornik at 05:10 PM | Comments (0)

September 21, 2005

Asa Slam in jeopardy! Day 11

Big day in sumo today: Koto'oshu won his 11th straight, while Asashoryu and Kisenosato both lost, giving Koto'oshu a 2-match lead with only 4 days to go.

Although he will probably face Koto'oshu on Friday, Asahoryu's going to need someone else to beat him, too, to give him a chance at his 6th straight championship. Not looking good for that.

Koto'oshu looked strong in his match against Ozeki Tochiazuma (now 8-3), handling him pretty easily and pushing him backwards and out. Asashoryu couldn't do anything offensively and Aminishiki pulled a great move, tripping Asashoryu with his leg while pushing him back with his arms.

Tomorrow, Koto'oshu goes up against Hokutoriki (7-4) who has won 4 in a row. Asashoryu goes against Kotoshogiku (7-4). After that, the real matches start -- Asashoryu will face Koto'oshu on Friday, then the two Ozekis on the weekend. Koto'oshu will face Asashoryu, Chiyotaikai, and Kotomitsuki (I think). But Koto'oshu has a loss to give. At least, it will be exciting if Asasohryu beats him on Friday.

Posted by JoshHornik at 12:02 PM | Comments (0)

September 20, 2005

Sumo - Day 10

As the sumo tournament enters its climactic final third, Koto'oshu remains on top. He still hasn't lost, running off a record (for a new Sekiwake) 10 straight wins -- most likely setting him up for talk of Ozeki promotion after next tournament. His sumo has improved, too. Today he was a little defensive but pulled off a sweet throw at the edge to win.

Meanwhile, Asashoryu keeps rolling. Since his shocking loss on day 1, he has looked basically invincible, with hardly any risk even of losing in any of his matches.

Also at 9-1, 19-yr. old Kisenosato, who is almost the lowest-ranked wrestler in the top division. Which means he hasn't had to face any of the best wrestlers, and at some point, they'll put him up against tough competition. (In other words, don't bet on him to win.)

The final contender is Ozeki Tochiazuma, at 8-2. He'll need some help to win it, but he goes up against Koto'oshu tomorrow and if he wins, there will be 4 wrestlers within 1 win of the lead.

Current standings:
10-0 -- Koto'oshu
9-1 -- Asashoryu, Kisenosato
8-2 -- Tochiazuma
7-3 -- Chiyotaikai (1 away from keeping his Ozeki rank), Hakuho (6 wins in a row)
4-6 -- Takamisakari

Posted by JoshHornik at 01:15 PM | Comments (0)

September 17, 2005

Sumo Week 1

We are 7 days into the Sumo tournament now and right now, the stories are:

- Asashoryu lost on day 1. New Komusubi Futeno beat him -- the first time in over 3 years that Asashoryu had lost on day 1 (he was 1 win away from the all-time day 1 win streak record). Asashoryu has gotten himself together since then, winning all 6 of his matches and looking like his normal unbeatable self. Futeno, meanwhile, has lost 5 in a row after winning his first 2.

Asashoryu loses in huge upset on Day 1

- New Sekiwake Koto'oshu is 7-0 and leads the tournament by himself. Although his Sumo hasn't exactly been sterling -- he's doing more moving aside and letting people fall than actually knocking people down himself -- he has beaten everyone he's faced and has looked a little better the last couple days. He is also 1 win away from the record for consecutive wins to start a tournament as a new Sekiwake. Don't ask me why they keep those records.
- Kaio dropped out again due to an injury. Why doesn't he just retire already?
- Chiyotaikai is going to make it interesting in his bid to remain at Ozeki.
- Ozeki Tochiazuma, at 6-1, looks like he will compete for the championship to the end.
- Wakanosato was looking good in his return to Sekiwake, then got hurt and had to drop out.
- 19-yr. old Kisenosato is also 6-1.
- Bald Russian Sumo wrestler (and younger brother to Roho) Hakurozan is one ugly dude, and also not a very good Sumo wrestler.
- Estonian wrestler Baruto is causing a stir in the minor leagues. He's a monster -- almost 2 meters tall and 361 pounds of pure muscle -- and must also have some skill, as he's got his record to 6-1.

Current standings:
7-0: Koto'oshu
6-1: Asashoryu, Tochiazuma, Kisenosato
5-2: Kotomitsuki, oldest wrestler (37) Kotonowaka
4-3: Chiyotaikai, Hakuho, Roho
2-5: Futeno, Takamisakari

Posted by JoshHornik at 05:54 PM | Comments (0)

September 09, 2005

Asahoryu seeks Asa-Slam

Sumo's back! The September tournament starts this Sunday in Tokyo.

Like Tiger Woods with the Tiger Slam and Serena Williams with the Serena Slam before him, Asashoryu goes for a sweep of one full year's worth of tournaments -- a win would give him 6 in a row.

The other contenders are all the familiar names. At Ozeki, there's Kaio, Tochiazuma, and Chiyotaikai. Chiyotaikai is in his 40th tournament at Ozeki (3rd most in history) -- that's a dubious honor, because it means he's never been good enough to make Yokozuna. He's also fighting for the rank, once again. He needs 10 wins to stay at Ozeki. It's his 8th time in this situation, which is another unfortunate record he now holds. To underscore the lack of competition for Asashoryu, this is the 6th tournament in a row where at least one of the Ozeki's has needed 10 wins to keep his rank.

Bulgarian wrestler Koto'oshu has been promoted to Sekiwake, his highest rank ever. He has made the 2nd-fastest rise to this rank in history (fatso Konishiki was the fastest). Wakanosato is the other Sekiwake.

At Komusubi are Kotomitsuki (demoted after going 7-8 last tournament) and major up-and-comer Futeno. Futeno (the Kevin McHale of Sumo -- I just love saying that) is the guy who beat Asashoryu in the high school Sumo championships, and he was also a college champion.

In the Maegashira ranks, there's Hakuho at #1, who got dropped from the top ranks after getting injured last tournament. Expect him to come back strong with at least 10 wins. Kokkai is at #2 and Takamisakari is at #5.

Moving up the ranks and newly promoted to Sumo's 2nd level Juryo are Masatsukasa, who I mention only because I love that name, and Baruto (pictured), the first Sumo wrestler ever from Estonia.

Let's hope it's a good tournament, though I wouldn't be surprised to see Asashoryu win it all by day 12.

Estonian Sumo wrestler Baruto

Posted by JoshHornik at 11:21 AM | Comments (0)

July 25, 2005

5 in a row!

Lance Armstrong won his 7th straight Tour Asashoryu won his 5th straight tournament

OK, Lance won his 7th straight, but Asashoryu has his own streak going. After Koto'oshu lost his match, Asashoryu had a tough one but won it, to get his 5th tournament championship in a row. In September, he goes for the "Asa Slam" -- 6 tournaments in a row. Only 3 other wrestlers have won 5 in a row: Chiyonofuji, Kitanoumi, and Taiho -- all considered among the best Yokozunas ever. Only one, Taiho, ever won 6 in a row. In addition, Asashoryu's record for the year now stands at 57-3 after his 13-win tournament. The record for wins in one year is 82, meaning Asashoryu just has to go 26-4 in the last 2 tournaments to break the record. He now has 13 championships in his career, putting him 6th all time. And, oh yeah, he's only 24 years old.

Meanwhile, in other final sumo tournament news, the award winners were: Koto'oshu (outstanding performance), Futeno (technique), and Kokkai (fighting spirit). Futeno is a former high school Sumo champion (who beat Asashoryu on his way to winning that) and finished this tournament 10-5. Look for him to move up the rankings in the next few tournaments to become one of the top wrestlers. He is also the Kevin McHale of Sumo, easily the most articulate wrestler I've heard in interviews.

Movers for next tournament:
Kotomitsuki and Miyabiyama will be demoted after 7-8 records. Hakuho was 6-2 when he dropped out, but he'll be demoted because of the injury. And Chiyotaikai will be 'kadoban' again, meaning another losing record and he loses his Ozeki rank.
Wakanosato (11-4) and Futeno might be able to move up into the top ranks.

Next tournament starts September 11.

Posted by JoshHornik at 05:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 23, 2005

Final 2: Asashoryu vs. Koto'oshu

Koto'oshu beats Takamisakari to make the finals Today started with 5 wrestlers in contention and finished with just 2: Mongolian Yokozuna Asashoryu and Bulgarian Komusubi Koto'oshu, both 12-2.

Asashoryu defeated Kaio with amazing strength. He gives up 70 pounds to Kaio, but grabbed the belt and managed to muscle him out. Kaio is 10-4, but probably just happy to be staying at Ozeki next tournament.

Koto'oshu finally ended the miracle run of Takamisakari, holding him off then finishing him with a quick throw when he got him off balance (see picture). Takamisakari falls to 10-4. He'll set a personal best with 11 wins if he wins tomorrow. Of course, he'll probably struggle to 5 or 6 wins next tournament after getting promoted and having to face tougher competition.

The final contender, Wakanosato, lost his match to also fall to 10-4 and out of the race. He can play spoiler tomorrow, though, since he goes up against Koto'oshu.

In other news, Iwakiyama won his 8th to ensure promotion next time, which is pretty amazing, considering he missed 4 matches with an injury before returning to action 3 days ago. And Tama'asuka got a winning record in his first tournament in the majors.

It all comes down to tomorrow. Koto'oshu vs. Wakanosato and Asashoryu vs. Tochiazuma (9-5). If one wins and the other loses, the winner is the Champion, but if both lose or both win, there will be a playoff for the title, a rematch of the match that Asashoryu lost to Koto'oshu on Day 8. (Might as well give Asashoryu the cup now, because even if Oshu gets over the nerves and beats Wakanosato, there's no way Asashoryu will lose to him twice in one tournament.)

Posted by JoshHornik at 04:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 22, 2005

An actual competition to the end

For the first time in 5 tournaments, the championship is going down to the last day...

Asashoryu and Koto'oshu both won their 11th today, while Wakanosato lost to fall to 10-3.
Meanwhile, Kaio beat Tochiazuma and Takamisakari won again, so they're both at 10-3, too.
So there are 5 wrestlers within 1 of the lead and only 2 days left.

If Koto'oshu actually pulls it out, he will set the record for fastest rise to a championship ever in Sumo. It is his 17th tournament since his first as a Sumo wrestler. The current record is a tie between Asashoryu and Takanohana, who both won for the first time in their 24th professional tournaments.

Asashoryu goes up against Kaio tomorrow and Tochiazuma (9-4) Sunday.
Koto'oshu vs. Takamisakari tomorrow, so it could be a 5-way tie at 11-3 after tomorrow.

Posted by JoshHornik at 12:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 20, 2005

Asashoryu -- not the best ever -- loses again!

In a shocker, Kokkai beat Asashoryu today, though I think he kind of got robbed. They battled at the start, then Asashoryu put on a push. Had Kokkai backing up, but he fell as he gave the final push to get Kokkai out of the ring. Kokkai held up the foot, but fell out at the same time Asashoryu fell flat on his stomach. The referee called Asashoryu the winner, but the judges conferred and decided to give it to Kokkai instead. (Personally, I thought they should have had a do-over.)

Anyway, Asashoryu loses his 2nd and falls back into a 3-way tie for the lead, with Koto'oshu and Wakanosato. Other contenders at 8-3 include the Ozekis Chiyotaikai and Kaio, but they go up against each other tomorrow, so one will drop out of the race. Also at 8-3 are Kokkai, back in form after a disappointing tournament last time, and Takamisakari, who lost easily today and may be at the end of his miracle run. Meanwhile, another wrestler, Roho, quit the tournament with an injury. (These guys better all get healthy by October for the Vegas tournament.)

I still expect Asashoryu to win the tournament and I still think he is currently more dominant in his sport than Tiger Woods, and more dominant than Takanohana was in his day. (If he wins this tournament, he's won 9 of the last 10, and 13 out of 18 since his first.) Of course, the competition was better in Takanohana's day. As the only Yokozuna, Asashoryu is supposed to be dominant.

I think he's amazing, but definitely not the best ever. Takanohana in his prime probably beats him 6 or 7 out of 10 times. Takanohana definitely wasn't as fast as Asashoryu, but he was bigger, stronger, and I think he had a little more skill. I didn't see much of Chiyonofuji (pictured, right) before he retired but, based on videos, I think HE is probably the best ever. He had it all: strength, speed, skill. And he dominated (most career wins, including a 53-match winning streak) against tough competition.Chiyonofuji, the greatest Sumo wrestler ever

Posted by JoshHornik at 12:28 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 18, 2005

Tiger Woods. Lance Armstrong. Asashoryu.

Tiger Woods has 10 majors, including 2 out of 3 this year.
Lance Armstrong is about to win his 7th straight Tour de France.
But is Asashoryu the most dominant of them all?

I would have said yes, but then he went and lost a match on Sunday, getting flipped and losing by a head to Bulgarian Koto'oshu (see picture). Wait a minute -- Lance hasn't won a single stage and Tiger only came in second at the US Open, while Asashoryu's record is up to 52-2 for the year, and he now stands all alone at the top of the standings in the Nagoya tournament, on track for a perfect 4-for-4 in championships this year.Koto'oshu beats Asashoryu by a top-knot

Meanwhile, contenders have been dropping like flies. Kaio lost a match after a (legal) head butt opened a massive cut on his eye, but he came back with wins after that. But both Chiyotaikai and Hakuho (who was looking as good as ever at 6-1 until he injured his foot) had to drop out of the tournament. Iwakiyama was 6-0, until he got hurt and he dropped out, too.

Of the wrestlers left, Asashoryu leads at 8-1. His only loss was to Koto'oshu at 7-2. Also at 7-2 are Kaio (who got lucky and got a free win when Hakuho dropped out today) and Wakanosato, who lost to Asashoryu today. The final wrestler with 7 wins is none other than everybody's favorite Takamisakari. The crowds will be crazy if he can keep it going for a few more days. Final contender is the other Ozeki Tochiazuma at 6-3. Kotomitsuki is the biggest disappointment left. Nearing Ozeki promotion coming in, he's only 4-5 so far.
Match of the day tomorrow: Kaio vs. Wakanosato

Posted by JoshHornik at 10:22 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 12, 2005

Yes, it's that time again...

The July Grand Sumo tournament opened Sunday.

Not too many big storylines this time. Asashoryu goes for his 5th straight championship (and 4th out of 4 this year). Kaio is 'kadoban' -- if he doesn't win 8, he'll be demoted from Ozeki. There are a couple new wrestlers, including Hakurozan, who is the younger brother of Russian wrestler Roho. Not the first brothers to make the top level of Sumo, but definitely the first foreign brothers (and of course, the first caucasian brothers -- love those white sumo wrestlers!)

3 days are done and the news is pretty familiar. Asashoryu is 3-0 and looks as strong as ever. He has now won 20 matches in a row, dating back to the March tournament.

Hakurozan -- balding Sumo wrestler!

Yokozuna -- Asashoryu 3-0
Ozeki -- Tochiazuma 3-0; Kaio, Chiyotaikai 2-1
Sekiwake -- Hakuho, Kotomitsuki 2-1
Komusubi -- Koto'oshu 2-1; Miyabiyama 1-2
Also 3-0: Kokkai and Iwakiyama, 2 guys who had bad tournaments and got demoted further than they belong, so they'll have good records this time, and 19-yr. old Kisenosato.

Posted by JoshHornik at 03:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 24, 2005

Asashoryu ZENSHO! (15-0!)

Final report from the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo:

Asashoryu won the tournament on day 14 and finished the job on day 15. 15 straight wins. His 4th undefeated tournament. His 4th championship in a row. His 12th championship in his career. He is (by the numbers, at least) one of the greatest Yokozunas of all time. (I'm sure they're debating the quality of his competition in Japan. It's definitely not as high as what Takanohana faced 10 years ago.)

The runner-up was komusubi Kotomitsuki, who won his last 12 and finished 13-2. He also picked up the Technique Prize. And the talk has already begun about his chances of becoming an Ozeki.

Speaking of Ozekis, Tochiazuma lost on the last day to Asashoryu, but finished 12-3. Chiyotaikai limped in with 4 losses in a row, but his 10-5 record keeps him at Ozeki for another couple tournaments, at least.

Sekiwake Hakuho won 7 of 9 after a slow start, to end up 9-6. Now he can put together 2 great tournaments in the next 2 and get promoted to Ozeki.

Koto'oshu finished 10-5 and has a chance to get promoted to Komusubi next tournament.

Takamisakari finished 2-2, to get to 5 wins. Ama lost 4 of his last 6 to drop to 8-7. Kyokushuzan finished 2-2, but still ended up 12-3 and picked up a Fighting Spirit prize. And young wrestler Kotoshogiku won his last 8 to finish 10-5.

Turned out to be a pretty good tournament, but hopefully there will be a little more competition for Asashoryu in the next tournament in July.

Posted by JoshHornik at 04:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 19, 2005

More domination -- day 12

Quick update:
Asashoryu continues to dominate. On day 11, he practically knocked Koto'oshu (a big guy, the tallest wrestler in Sumo) out of the ring with one shoulder hit. Koto'oshu was left dazed with blood pouring from a cut under his eye. Yesterday, he won again to go to 12-0.

And he now leads the tournament by 2 with only 3 days left, because both Chiyotaikai and Kyokushuzan lost. Chiyotaikai lost to Koto'oshu, so I guess he recovered from the beating Asashoryu gave him. And Kyokushuzan lost to Kotomitsuki, who joined the tie for 2nd at 10-2.

Meanwhile, Hakuho won his 6th in a row to go to 8-4 and assure his 7th straight winning record since joining the top level of Sumo. Should actually be a match when he faces Asashoryu tomorrow.

12-0: Asashoryu
10-2: Tochiazuma, Chiyotaikai, Kotomitsuki, Kyokushuzan
8-4: Hakuho, Koto'oshu, Ama (another little Mongolian who I like)
4-8: Takamisakari

Posted by JoshHornik at 07:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 17, 2005

Shoulder injury? What shoulder injury?

False alarm, I guess, on Asashoryu's shoulder injury. He has won easily twice since the injury. Yesterday he even pulled out the power move -- lifting the other guy (in this case the 392-pound Iwakiyama) off the ground and then pushing him out. 10-0 and rolling.

Meanwhile, Ozeki Chiyotaikai keeps winning, staying 1 back. Also, Kyokushuzan won again and is also 9-1. He called yesterday's match his best Sumo in his 13 year career.

Ozeki Tochiazuma stays close at 8-2, and Komusubi Kotomitsuki won his 7th in a row to go to 8-2 and keep hope alive.

And Hakuho won his 4th in a row and he's looking good again. Now 6-4 and looks like he'll hang onto his Sekiwake rank (and maybe even threaten Asashoryu when they go up against each other.)

10-0: Asashoryu
9-1: Chiyotaikai, Kyokushuzan
8-2: Tochiazuma, Kotomitsuki
7-3: Koto'oshu
6-4: Hakuho
3-7: Takamisakari

Posted by JoshHornik at 02:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 15, 2005

Sumo - Day 8

Asashoryu keeps rolling, but he hurt his shoulder in the win yesterday. No word yet on how bad it is -- didn't look too serious, but you could tell he was hurting. His arm got yanked in a strange way as he threw Wakanosato out of the ring. Anyway, he's 8-0, assured of a winning record. It's the 4th tournament in a row he's won his first 8 and the 2nd time in his career he's done that 4 times in a row, which is a record.

He's all alone at the top, followed by Chiyotaikai and Kyokushuzan. Chiyotaikai just needs 1 win now to keep his Ozeki rank. Kyokushuzan is another Mongolian wrestler, not too big (312 lbs.), tons of skill -- tends to move up and down the ranks but can't stay at the top.

Kotonowaka won yesterday on his 37th birthday, and claims he can wrestle for 27 more years.

Katayama, who just got promoted to the top level of Sumo, is now 6-2.
And the white guys aren't doing so well this time. Roho and Kokkai are both 2-6, but Koto'oshu is 5-3 and Hakurozan is 2nd in the 2nd Sumo division at 6-2.

8-0: Asashoryu
7-1: Chiyotaikai, Kyokushuzan
6-2: Tochiazuma, Kotomitsuki, Katayama
4-4: Hakuho
3-5: Takamisakari

Posted by JoshHornik at 01:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 13, 2005

Sumo - day 6

Kaio won his 5th in a row 2 days ago, but apparently wrecked his back doing it and decided yesterday to drop out of the tournament. I guess they might as well give Asashoryu the trophy now.

Asashoryu is 6-0 now. His only competition will probably come from either Chiyotaikai at 5-1 or Tochiazuma at 4-2. The obligatory scrub, Tamakasuga, is also 6-0, but sooner or later, they'll make him face tough competition and then he'll lose. Hakuho clearly won't provide any competition -- he lost his 4th in a row to drop to 2-4.

This one could be over by day 12.

Posted by JoshHornik at 10:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 12, 2005

Summer Sumo tournament begins...

From Troy, MI, home of the band Stillwater, of "Fever Dog" fame, here is the Sumo report...

5 days already gone, but hey, you could have guessed the results so far anyway. Asashoryu is unbeaten at 5-0. Asashoryu is going for his 4th straight tournament win, on his way to maybe winning all 6 tournaments this year? Kaio is also 5-0, as well as the obligatory random scrub - in this case, Tamakasuga, at Maegashira #16.

The other Ozekis are doing well, too. Tochiazuma and Chiyotaikai (who needs 10 wins or else he loses his rank and would probably retire) are both 4-1.

The only news may be another poor tournament from Hakuho. He won his first 2, but has now lost 3 in a row.

Takamisakari is 2-3 and Mongolian "Sumo skill department store" (a much catchier nickname in Japanese) Kyokushuzan is 4-1.

Posted by JoshHornik at 08:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 06, 2005

See Sumo Live!

Tickets went on sale today for the Sumo tournament at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on October 7-9. Available in single day or 3-day packages. I got mine!

Posted by JoshHornik at 04:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 27, 2005

Spring Tournament -- final update

It's all over, and once again, Asashoryu dominated. He finished 14-1 and had won it on day 14. He's won 3 tournaments in a row (11 now for his career) and won all 3 of them before the last day. He's only the 3rd Sumo wrestler to do that. It was a pretty easy tournament for him, made interesting only by his wearing a gold mawashi for the first 13 days, then switching back to black for the last 2 matches.

Other scores:
Kaio finished 10-5. He gets to stay at Ozeki for next tournament, but he has to do better for them to think about promoting him to Yokozuna.

Tochiazuma also finished 10-5, closing with 5 wins in a row, including the one win against Asashoryu.

But Ozeki Chiyotaikai finished 6-9, meaning he is "kadoban" for next tournament and will get demoted if he doesn't win 8 or more.

With his back to the wall, Hakuho managed to win his last 4 and scrape out an 8-7 winning record, so he'll stay at Sekiwake for next tournament. However, he's no longer on track to be the youngest Ozeki ever -- probably couldn't get promoted until September at the earliest.

The other 3 top-ranked wrestlers, Miyabiyama, Iwakiyama, and Koto'oshu, all had terrible tournaments and will all get demoted out of the top ranks. For Koto'oshu, at 4-11, it was his first losing record ever.

Takamisakari finished 9-6. And Tamanoshima finished as runner-up at 12-3.

Posted by JoshHornik at 09:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack