SUMO/ Yokozuna Harumafuji clinches 6th title in Kyushu tourney

November 24, 2013

AJW

Harumafuji upset fellow grand champion Hakuho in a thrilling finale at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Nov. 24 to claim his sixth Emperor's Cup.

In the tournament's final bout at the Fukuoka Kokusai Center, Harumafuji stunned his fellow Mongolian at the face-off, dodging slightly to his side and forcing his opponent back.

"Since I became a yokozuna I've struggled with some injuries but the fans and my supporters stuck with me and it's been a while since I won a title," Harumafuji said.

While Hakuho briefly recovered, Harumafuji got a left-hand grip on Hakuho's belt. In the jostling that followed, Hakuko's foot landed in the sand outside the ring. The referee stopped the bout, giving Harumafuji a 14-1 record and the title.

Hakuho, who was perfect up until Day 14, lost his second straight bout and fell to 13-2, missing out on a chance to claim his 28th title.

It was a morale-boosting victory for Harumafuji who posted a sub-par 10-5 record in the Autumn tournament and had drawn the ire of some sumo officials who claimed his results weren't worthy of a grand champion.

Ozeki Kisenosato, who was coming off wins over Harumafuji and Hakuho, hoisted out ozeki Kakuryu of Mongolia to finish the tournament on a high note with an impressive 13-2 record. Kakuryu dropped to 9-6.

Tochiozan spun Goeido around and shoved his sekiwake counterpart out to pick up his seventh win against eight losses. Goeido finished the tournament with a winning record of 8-7, far short of expectations after going 11-4 in the Autumn tourney

Bulgarian Aoiyama improved to 10-5 after using a series of powerful arm thrusts to dispatch komusubi Okinoumi, who fell to 7-8.

Top maegashira Myogiryu wrapped up a winning record at 8-7 when he forced out 13th-ranked Gagamaru, who also closed out the tournament with an 8-7 record.

Fourth-ranked maegashira Tochinowaka overpowered Fukuoka native komusubi Shohozan to give both wrestlers a 4-11 record.

Further down the ranks, No. 6 maegashira Ikioi sent Toyonoshima sprawling to the dirt surface to finish with an impressive 11-4 record and claim the tournament's Fighting Spirit Prize. Toyonoshima, a No. 2 maegashira, dropped to 8-7.

No. 6 maegashira Chiyotairyu overpowered 14th-ranked maegashira Kyokushuho (8-7) to improve to 11-4 and pick up the tournament's Technique Prize.

Egypt's Osunaarashi, a No. 15 maegashira, failed to secure a winning record in his makuuchi division debut when he was shoved out by fifth-ranked maegashira Kaisei to fall to 7-8. Brazilian Kaisei improved to 7-8.

"It's disappointing not to get a winning record but I learned a lot," Osunaarashi said. "The first three days of the tournament were intimidating but after that I was able to settle down."

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Yokozuna Harumafuji pushes yokozuna Hakuho to the edge on Day 15 of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament at the Fukuoka Kokusai Center on Nov. 24. (Tadashi Mizowaki)

Yokozuna Harumafuji pushes yokozuna Hakuho to the edge on Day 15 of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament at the Fukuoka Kokusai Center on Nov. 24. (Tadashi Mizowaki)

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  • Yokozuna Harumafuji pushes yokozuna Hakuho to the edge on Day 15 of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament at the Fukuoka Kokusai Center on Nov. 24. (Tadashi Mizowaki)
  • Yokozuna Harumafuji hoists his sixth Emperor's Cup at the close of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament at the Fukuoka Kokusai Center on Nov. 24. (Koichi Ueda)

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