In Japan, Yokozuna (Grand Champion) Wajima ended a 10-tournament losing streak by winning the coveted Emperor's Cup at the Grand Sumo Wrestling Tournament in Nagoya on Sunday (15 July).
In Japan, Yokozuna (Grand Champion) Wajima ended a 10-tournament losing streak by winning the coveted Emperor's Cup at the Grand Sumo Wrestling Tournament in Nagoya on Sunday (15 July). He beat Ozeki (Champion) Mienoumi in a play-off on the final day of the 15-day tournament. It was Wakima's 13th title, but he had not won a tournament crown since 1977.
SYNOPSIS: Wajima, on the left, and Mienoumi were forced into a play-off after Mienoumi, the local hero, had won their earlier bout -- giving both wrestlers a tournament record of fourteen wins and one defeat. Both men are aged thirty-one, which is considered old for top-class rikishi (sumo wrestlers). There had been a lot of pressure on Wajima to retire after his string of tournament defeats, and Mienoumi went into the play-off as favourite.
But Wajima, still immensely strong, again displayed his superb tournament temperament. In the crucial showdown, he maneouvered for a right-hand hold on his opponent's sash. Then he lifted Mienoumoi, pushing him out of the ring to win by a yori-kiri (carrying out of the ring).
But there was some consolation for Mienoumi in defeat. The Japanese Sumo Association is to consider promoting him to the sport's highest ranking of Yokozuna (Grand Champion).
Wajima, who is a yokozuna, is now third on the all - time list of tournament winners. Although he had failed to win since the Kyushu Basho (tournament) in November 1977, he was runner-up on several occasions. And he finally gained the Emperor's Cup after coming second in this tournament a year ago.