to win fourth Cup
NAGOYA, Japan >> Kaio overpowered rival ozeki Chiyotaikai to win his first tourney in two years -- and his fourth overall -- on the last day of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament yesterday.
The triumph, secured with a 12-3 record, brought the 30-year-old wrestler a step closer to possible promotion to the highest rank of yokozuna, or grand champion.
Chiyotaikai appeared to have the upper hand in the early moments of the bout, as he quickly pushed Kaio toward the edge of the ring. Kaio retaliated, however, by pushing his opponent back with enough force to send Chiyotaikai flying off the mound and into the front row of the audience. The momentum of his shove was enough to send Kaio himself sliding head first down the slanted mound.
The two entered the match with equivalent 11-3 records in the 15-day tournament and were the only contenders for the winner's trophy on the final day.
Both yokozuna pulled out of the tournament with injuries days ago. Musashimaru, or Fiamalu Penitani, aggravated an injured left wrist last week, while Mongolian Asashoryu withdrew on Tuesday with a sprained neck.
"I just wanted to do my best and use all my strength," Kaio said of his win in a post-match interview on national television.
Kaio won his last tourney at the same tournament in the same building -- the Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium -- two years ago.
In other major bouts, ozeki Musoyama defeated upstart No. 5 maegashira Tosanoumi, sending the junior wrestler off the mound with a firm right arm throw. Both wrestlers wrapped up the tournament with 10-5 records.
Sekiwake Wakanosato pushed a somewhat sluggish Tochiazuma out of the ring when the ozeki lost his balance, improving his record to 10-5. Tochiazuma finished the tournament at 7-8.
Crowd favorite Takamisakari threw No. 7 maegashira Tokitsuumi to the dirt, overcoming his failure to get hold of his opponent's belt at the face-off. The crowd cheered wildly for the No. 3 maegashira, who has become famous for his colorful facial expressions and dramatic warmups before bouts.
The wrestler finished the tournament with nine wins -- including one against Asashoryu on the eighth day -- against six losses. Tokitsuumi fell to 9-6.
No. 6 maegashira Buyuzan swiftly pushed out Mongolian grappler No. 2 maegashira Kyokushuzan with a series of arm thrusts to the chest. Buyuzan finished with a 7-8 record while Kyokushuzan slipped to 4-11.
Wakatoba (10-5) def. Ushiomaru (7-8)
Tamakasuga (7-8) def. Wakanoyama (7-8)
Yotsukasa (8-7) def. Kasugao (4-11)
Tochisakae (8-7) def. Otsukasa (5-10)
Iwakiyama (8-7) def. Aogiyama (4-11)
Kinkaiyama (9-6) def. Tamarikido (6-9)
Kotomitsuki (9-6) def. Kaiho (6-9)
Hokutoriki (10-5) def. Kasuganishiki (9-6)
Kotoryu (8-7) def. Asanowaka (6-9)
Takamisakari (9-6) def. Tokitsuumi (9-6)
Takanonami (6-9) def. Tamanoshima (5-10)
Buyuzan (7-8) def. Kyokushuzan (4-11)
Asasekiryu (10-5) def. Miyabiyama (10-5)
Tochinonada (7-8) def. Toki (10-5)
Kyokutenho (6-9) def. Jumonji (6-9)
Wakanosato (10-5) def. Tochiazuma (7-8)
Musoyama (10-5) def. Tosanoumi (10-5)
Kaio (12-3) def. Chiyotaikai (11-4)
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