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


Star-Bulletin news services

Monday, September 27, 1999

Musashimaru wins
autumn sumo for
6th Emperor’s Cup

Kyodo News Service


TOKYO -- Musashimaru crushed injury-plagued fellow yokozuna Wakanohana in a hard-fought bout Sunday to claim his sixth Emperor's Cup on the final day of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.

Musashimaru, promoted to the sport's highest rank after winning back-to-back titles in March and May, lifted the Cup for the first time as a grand champion by finishing the tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan with a 12-3 record.

The 28-year-old Musashigawa stable wrestler met Wakanohana's spirited escape attempt at the ring's edge early in Sunday's final bout but did not miss a second chance to topple his longtime rival with a series of merciless shoves.

Musashimaru sealed the victory shortly after No. 3 maegashira Akinoshima crumbled to his fourth defeat and hinged his championship hopes on Musashimaru losing to Wakanohana to force a playoff.

"I was struggling a bit late in this tournament. But I'm happy and I think I did all I could not only for me but also for other yokozuna," Musashimaru said, referring to the injuries that struck Akebono and Futagoyama stable brothers Wakanohana and Takanohana.

Akebono, who suffered a torn thigh muscle, and Takanohana, with an aggravated injury to his left ring finger dislocated in July, both announced their withdrawals only three days into the tournament.

Wakanohana, who completed his 15-day outings despite tearing a thigh muscle in a 10th-day win over No. 3 maegashira Toki, lost for the next four days in lopsided bouts before giving a scare to Musashimaru in a spirited fight that lived up to his ranking.

Wakanohana suffered the ignominy of becoming only the second yokozuna to mark a losing record of 7-8 and the first since Onokuni who did so in the autumn tourney in September 1989.

The 28-year-old Wakanohana, who repeatedly defied the recommendation from Japan Sumo Association executives to pull out amid speculation over his imminent retirement, said later Sunday that he will decide on his future within the next few days.

Wrestling in his 106th tournament since his professional debut in 1982, the 32-year-old Akinoshima (11-4) missed out on his chance of lifetime to snare his first-ever Emperor's Cup after being forced out by komusubi Musoyama (8-7).

The Technique Prize and Fighting Spirit Prize are the consolation for Akinoshima, who has collected a record 19 special awards as a wrestler in the top makuuchi division below sumo's top two ranks of yokozuna and ozeki.

In Sunday's other action, newly promoted ozeki Dejima blasted fellow ozeki Chiyotaikai out of the ring as both wrestlers ended the tournament at 10-5.

Top maegashira Tochiazuma (10-5), who earned the Outstanding Performance Award for defeating Takanohana and Musashimaru on the opening two days, capped one of the best tournaments in his career with a victory over sekiwake Kaio (8-7).

Both maegashira grapplers from Mongolia had mixed fortunes as No. 2 Kyokushuzan ended with a losing record of 7-8 while 12th-ranked Kyokutenho will move up in the rankings for the Kyushu meet in November after finishing at 8-7 despite Sunday's loss.


Results from final day
of autumn sumo

TOKYO-- Results of makuuchi division bouts Sunday, the final day of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo:

Won -- Technique -- Lost

Tokitsuumi 7-8 -- yorikiri -- Wakanoyama 9-6
Ganyu 5-10 -- yorikiri -- Ohinode 8-7
Higonoumi 8-7 -- hatakikomi -- Kaiho 7-8
Aogiyama 8-7 -- oshidashi -- Hamanoshima 8-7
Kinkaiyama 6-9 -- hatakikomi -- Tochinonada 5-10
Terao 8-7 -- hatakikomi -- Otsukasa 8-7
Chiyotenzan 6-9 -- yorikiri -- Kyokutenho 8-7
Minatofuji 6-9 -- yorikiri -- Kotoryu 8-7
Miyabiyama 10-5 -- hatakikomi -- Asanowaka 9-6
Toki 6-9 -- hatakikomi -- Wakanosato 6-9
Kotonowaka 7-8 -- yorikiri -- Asanosho 7-8
Tamakasuga 8-7 -- oshidashi -- Kyokushuzan 7-8
Tochiazuma 10-5 -- oshidashi -- Takatoriki 9-6
Musoyama 8-7 -- yorikiri -- Akinoshima 11-4
Kotonishiki 5-10 -- sukuinage -- Shikishima 3-12
Kaio 9-6 -- hatakikomi -- Tosanoumi 7-8
Dejima 10-5 -- yorikiri -- Chiyotaikai 10-5
Musashimaru 12-3 -- yoritaoshi -- Wakanohana 7-8

Results in Scoreboard

For more sumo information online, try:
Sumo Web
Da Kine Sumo E-zine
Kyodo News Service

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