H A W A I I _ S U M O T O R I


Star-Bulletin news services

Tuesday, September 14, 1999

Akebono joins Takanohana
in autumn sumo pullout

TOKYO, Sept. 14 (Kyodo) - Akebono joined fellow yokozuna Takanohana on the pullout list Tuesday as the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament lost two grand champions in just one day.

Akebono announced his withdrawal from the 15-day tournament after suffering a suspected torn muscle in his left thigh in a loss to sekiwake Kaio at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

"His injury is severer than initially anticipated. It's impossible for him to continue wrestling in this tournament," arena doctor Kimio Yamada said of Akebono's status.

Yamada quoted Akebono and his stable master Azumazeki as saying that they had accepted his advise to rest the 30-year-old grand champion from Hawaii.

Akebono, who is 2-1 after three days of the tourney, later entered a Tokyo hospital and will receive a detailed examination Wednesday.

It is Akebono's first absence from a grand sumo tournament since this year's spring basho in Osaka in March and 12th in his career.

Top-ranked maegashira Tamakasuga will earn a win by default Wednesday for the second straight day after Takanohana - his scheduled opponent in Tuesday's program - pulled out earlier in the day following his second defeat in as many days.

Doctors said Takanohana needs three weeks to recover from an injury to his left ring finger, which he dislocated during the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament in July and aggravated in losses to top maegashira Tochiazuma and komusubi Musoyama on Sunday and Monday.

"His finger has turned out to be worse than expected. We had a meeting this morning and decided to withdraw," stable master Futagoyama said when announcing Takanohana's pullout Tuesday morning.

The withdrawals of Takanohana and Akebono left only Musashimaru and Wakanohana, Takanohana's elder brother, in the current tournament as grand champions.

Akebono suffers upset
in sumo, Takanohana

TOKYO (AP) - Akebono suffered his first upset and his fellow yokozuna (grand champion) Takanohana withdrew from the Autumn Grand Sumo tournament on Tuesday because of a finger injury.

After three days of the tournament, only four wrestlers remained undefeated at 3-0. They are ozeki (champion) Chiyotaikai, sekiwake (junior champion) Kaio, No. 5 maegashira (senior wrestler) Miyabiyama and No. 11 maegashira Wakanoyama.

Wrestling at the Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo arena in downtown Tokyo, Kaio held on Akebono's driving attempt at the ring's edge by turning around the ring and threw him down, leaving Akebono, or Chad Rowan from Hawaii, at 2-1.

Yokozuna Musashimaru, or Fiamalu Penitani from Hawaii, charged winless sekiwake Tosanoumi with hand thrusts and bulldozed him out for his second victory against one defeat.

Yokozuna Wakanohana and No. 1 maegashira Tochiazuma pushed each other in the ring and Wakanohana quickly threw him down for his first victory against two defeats. Tochiazuma is 2-1.

Takanohana had his left ring finger dislocated during the Nagoya Grand Sumo tournament in July.

"His finger has turned out to be worse than expected," Takanohana' stable master Futagoyama said of Takanohana's withdrawal. Takanohana lost his first two bouts.

In other major bouts, ozeki Chiyotaikai charged komusubi (junior champion second class) Kotonishiki with hand thrusts against his foe's throat and sent him out, leaving Kotonishiki at 1-2.

No. 2 maegashira Kyokushuzan, or Tsevegnyam Nyamjav, charged ozeki Dejima with an arm throw attempt and forced him out, leaving both wrestlers at 1-2.

Ozeki Takanonami sent out No. 2 maegashira Asanosho for his second victory against one defeat. Asanosho is 1-2.

Wakanoyama sent out No. 9 maegashira Ganyu (1-2) and Miyabiyama forced out No. 4 maegashira Shikishima (1-2).

No. 12 maegashira Kyokutenho, or Mongolian Tsevegnyam Nyamjav, charged No. 10 maegashira Kotoryu with an arm throw attempt and sent him out to improve his record to 2-1. Kotoryu is 1-2.

In the juryo division, just below the senior makuuchi division, No. 10-ranked Hoshitango, or Argentine Imach Marcelo Salomon, pulled down No. 7-ranked Oginishiki (1-2) for his second victory against one defeat.

No. 10-ranked Sentoryu, or American Henry Armstrong Miller, crushed down No. 7-ranked Daishi from behind, leaving both wrestlers at 2-1.

In makushita, the top junior division, No. 53-ranked Asashoyu (2-0), or Mongolian Dolgorsvren Dagvadrj, pushed out No. 54-ranked Kiyonoumi.

In Sandanme, the second highest junior division, No. 13-ranked Kasugaoh (1-1), or Kim Son-tek from South Korea, drove out No. 14-ranked Toshinriki.

No. 66-ranked Ryuo (2-0), or Wang Yu from Shanghai, China, forced out No. 84-ranked Chiyonomori.

In jonidan, the third lowest junior division, No. 118-ranked Kotonomori (1-1), or Brazilian Mario Fuchiue, was thrown down by equally ranked Tochiryuzan.

Wrestlers in junior divisions have only seven bouts during the 15-day tournament.

Wakanohana quiets
retirement talk; Akebono
suffers first loss

Star-Bulletin staff

TOKYO - Yokozuna Wakanohana silenced talk that his retirement is imminent, claiming his first win of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament yesterday, hours after younger brother and fellow grand champion Takanohana pulled out.

Hawaii's Akebono, or Chad Rowan, crumbled to his first defeat at the hands of Kaio on the third day of the 15-day tournament.

In a dazzling display of the technique that elevated him to sumo's supreme rank, Wakanohana kept Tochiazuma away from his belt and sent the top maegashira rolling down to the dirt.

Tochiazuma dropped to his first defeat following victories over yokozunas Takanohana and Musashimaru.

Akebono failed to add the finishing touches to his effective slaps and thrusts and allowed backpedaling sekiwake Kaio the chance to topple the Hawaiian-born giant in an exchange of throws along the ring's straw ridge.

Akebono's loss left Kaio among only four unbeaten wrestlers along with ozeki Chiyotaikai and lower-ranked Miyabiyama and Wakanoyama.

Hawaii's Musashimaru, or Fiamalu Penitani, rebounded from a second-day loss with a convincing victory against Tosanoumi, who showed little resistance to the relentless thrusts of the grand champion.

Takanohana pulled out of the tournament with a dislocated finger.

Results in Scoreboard

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Kyodo News Service

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