Kakuryu takes Nagoya title
TOKYO (The Japan News/ANN) - Yokozuna Kakuryu won the sixth Emperor’s Cup of his career on Sunday, defeating fellow yokozuna Hakuho on the final day of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.
“This victory is somewhat different,” Kakuryu said in a ringside TV interview. “Before the start of the basho, I was in bad shape, but I was able to achieve a good record thanks to the support of fans in Nagoya.”
Kakuryu withdrew from the past three Nagoya tournaments. Sunday’s win is his first Nagoya title, and the first in seven tournaments overall. “I hadn’t won in Nagoya,” he said. “It feels great to announce a win here.”
In the lengthy final bout of the day, the two Mongolians tried to secure a hold on each other’s belts, attempting throws and trying to force each other out. Kakuryu finally got a good grip on Hakuho’s belt to bulldoze him out of the ring and end the tournament with a 14-1 record.
Hakuho, who started the day with two losses, needed to win the bout against Kakuryu to set up a playoff, but failed to extend his record tournament wins to 43.
The tournament ended with no ozeki still participating. Takakeisho will be demoted to sekiwake in the next basho, having sat out the entire Nagoya event and withdrawn from the previous tournament without a kachikoshi majority of wins. He will need 10 wins to return to the rank of ozeki.
The three other ozeki pulled out during the Nagoya basho.
The Fighting Spirit Prize went to No. 16 maegashira Terutsuyoshi, who posted 12 wins. Weighing only 116 kilograms, he holds the lowest rank in the makuuchi division.
No. 7 maegashira Tomokaze collected his first Outstanding Performance Prize for posting 11 wins, including handing Kakuryu his only defeat.
No. 2 maegashira Endo, who went 10-5 with a win against two ozeki, collected his third Technique Prize. It was shared with No. 14 maegashira Enho, who finished the tourney with nine wins despite tipping the scales at just 99 kilograms.