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2014 in sumo

2014 in sumo saw the traditional six major tournaments or basho held in January, March, May, July, September and November as usual. The yokozuna Hakuhō won five of the six tournaments taking his total of yūshō to 32 to equal the record of Taihō. Kakuryū's victory in March saw him promoted to become the sport's 71st yokozuna. Consistent performances at the rank of sekiwake saw Gōeidō being promoted to ōzeki for the September tournament. The most notable retirement was that of the former ōzeki Kotoōshū.

Tournaments

News

January

Kisenosato faces Kakuryū during the January 2014 tournament.
  • 3: Kazafuzan, the only wrestler from Kazakhstan in professional sumo, is arrested for destruction of property after a night of heavy drinking in Roppongi. His stablemaster Nishikido Oyakata apologizes, calling the incident "highly regrettable."[2]
  • 10: Yokozuna Harumafuji announces he will be absent from the January tournament due to an ankle injury, the first time in over a year he will not appear alongside fellow yokozuna Hakuhō.[3]
  • 26: Yokozuna Hakuhō wins his 28th makuuchi championship with a playoff victory against Kakuryū, after both men finish with identical 14–1 records.[4] Kisenosato pulls out through injury, condemning him to a losing score of 7–8 and leaving his yokozuna promotion bid in tatters. Endō is the only wrestler to win a special prize, the Fighting Spirit Award for his fine 11–4 score. Former maegashira Kimurayama and Hōchiyama both announce their retirements. Chiyomaru wins his first jūryō championship, guaranteeing him promotion to the top division. It will mark the first time brothers have been in the same top division tournament since May 2008.

March

Gōeidō, pictured in his hometown of Neyagawa in February, was runner-up in March.
  • 20: former Ōzeki Kotoōshū announces his retirement due to injuries.[5] He was the first European ōzeki and the first European to win a top division championship. He acquires Japanese citizenship and stays in the sumo world as a coach.
  • 21: Tochinoshin, after missing three consecutive tournaments due to injury and having fallen to makushita, clinches that division championship with a perfect 7–0 record.
  • 23: Ōzeki Kakuryū takes his first top division championship, with a dominating 14–1 record, virtually guaranteeing his promotion to yokozuna[6] Hakuhō, Harumafuji, and Sekiwake Gōeidō must settle for runner-up at 12–3. Gōeidō wins his third Outstanding Performance Award. Yoshikaze guarantees himself promotion to the san'yaku ranks for the first time after seven years in the top division with his 10–5 score at maegashira 4 and wins his third Fighting Spirit Prize. After missing several tournaments due to injury, including the previous one, Hōmashō comes back to take the jūryō championship, losing only on the last day to narrowly miss an exceedingly rare 15–0 championship in jūryō.
  • 26: Kakuryu's promotion to yokozuna is confirmed with a unanimous vote by the Japan Sumo Association. He becomes the 71st yokozuna in sumo, the sixth foreigner, and the third active Mongolian born yokozuna.[7]
  • 30: The annual exhibition tournament at the Ise Shrine in Ise, Mie prefecture is held.
  • 31: The spring jungyo or tour continues at Kadoma, Osaka prefecture.

April

The spring tour visits the following locations:

May

  • 25: Hakuhō wins the championship, with a score of 14–1, just ahead of Kisenosato who returns to form after a poor 2014 thus far and finishes with his 6th career runner-up performance. Kakuryū can only manage a very disappointing 9–6, losing his last three matches. The two komusubi debutantes Yoshikaze and Chiyoōtori unsurprisingly finish with losing scores, but Gōeidō holds his sekiwake rank for a 13th consecutive basho and wins his 4th Outstanding Performance prize for his defeat of Hakuhō, just about keeping his ōzeki promotion hopes alive. Sadanoumi wins the Fighting Spirit prize in his makuuchi debut, emulating his father who did the same nearly 34 years ago in November 1980. In the jūryō division, former collegiate champion Ichinojō wins the championship at his first attempt. In makushita, former maegashira Kimikaze calls time on his injury-blighted career at the age of 27. Georgian former komusubi Tochinoshin wins his second consecutive makushita championship with a perfect 7–0 record, continuing his strong comeback from injury. Joining him in juryo next tournament will be Kyokutaisei, who becomes the first sekitori from Hokkaido since Wakatenro in 2011.

July

Kotoshōgiku was runner-up for the first time as an ōzeki in July.
  • 27: The tournament in Nagoya has an exciting conclusion, with Hakuhō, Gōeidō and Kotoshōgiku all in contention for the Emperor's Cup going into the final day. Gōeidō defeats Kotoshōgiku (sealing his own promotion to ōzeki in the process), but Hakuhō avoids a three way playoff by beating Harumafujii to win outright with a score of 13–2. Gōeidō had also defeated two yokozuna on consecutive days and naturally is awarded his third consecutive Outstanding Performance Prize. Takayasu takes the Fighting Spirit Prize. Tochinoshin defeats Ichinojō in a playoff to win the jūryō division championship. Former maegashira Takanoyama, a crowd-pleaser and one of the lightest top division wrestlers ever, announces his retirement.
  • 30: Gōeidō's promotion to ōzeki is confirmed, ending his record run of 14 consecutive tournaments at sekiwake.[8] He has 32 wins over the last three tournaments, and becomes the third active Japanese ōzeki, on the banzuke beneath the three Mongolian yokozuna.

August

The summer tour visits the following locations:

September

  • 18: It is a tournament to forget for Harumafuji. A day after the indignity of being disqualified for hair-pulling for the second time this year (previously the only yokozuna to suffer this fate was Asashōryū in 2003), it is announced that he is withdrawing because of an eye injury he sustained in the match.[9] Others to miss the tournament through injury include sekiwake Myōgiryū and maegashira Hōmashō and Azumaryū.
  • 27: The bout of the tournament is fought between Hakuhō and newcomer Ichinojō, both of whom have twelve wins and just one loss. Ichinojō, who is bidding to become the first makuuchi debutant to win the championship since Ryōgoku in 1914, had beaten two ōzeki and a yokozuna in the previous three days but could not overcome Hakuhō, who moves to within one win of his 31st championship.[10]
  • 28: After tying the great Chiyonofuji's record of 31 top division championship, Hakuhō says, "I watched him when I was young and always aspired to be a wrestler like him so I am very happy."[11] Ichinojō wins his last bout to finish with an outstanding 13–2 record and wins prizes for Fighting Spirit and Outstanding Performance. The Technique Award goes to veteran Aminishiki for the sixth time. Tochinoshin celebrates his return to the top division in style by winning the jūryō championship with a perfect 15–0 score, only the third wrestler in the modern six tournaments a year era after Kitanofuji and Baruto to achieve this. It is his fourth straight championship, two in makushita and two in jūryō. Former komusubi Wakakōyū retires.

October

The autumn tour visits the following locations:

November

Kyokutenho won a special prize at the age of 40 in November.
  • 23: An historic day sees Hakuhō equal Taihō's record of 32 tournament titles, set in 1971, by defeating Kakuryū to finish two wins clear of his nearest rival at 14–1. Hakuhō was inspired by the legendary Yokozuna Taihō, who had links to his Miyagino stable and occasionally attended training sessions there. Hakuhō had visited Taihō just two days before his death in January 2013 and told him he would try to break his record.[12] Hakuhō's only defeat is to Takayasu, who scores an impressive 10–5 and wins the Outstanding Performance Award. Both sekiwake, Aoiyama and Ichinojō, were making their debuts at the rank and both come through with winning records, the first time this has happened in seven years.[13] The seemingly indestructible Kyokutenhō, in his 1410th makuuchi bout, forces out Chiyomaru to claim his tenth win of the tournament and his seventh Fighting Spirit prize at the age of 40 years, two months.
  • 30: The winter tour begins in Ashikita, Kumamoto prefecture.

December

The winter tour visits:

Deaths

  • May 18:: Former ozeki Kaiketsu, also former Hanaregoma Oyakata and head of the Sumo Association, aged 66.
  • August 12: Former komusubi Futatsuryū Jun'ichi, also former Tokitsukaze Oyakata, who was jailed after a hazing scandal, aged 64, of lung cancer.
  • August 29: Former komusubi Ryūko Seihō, also former Hanaregoma Oyakata, and an actor and celebrity, aged 73, of a heart attack.
  • September 17: Former sekiwake Wakachichibu, also former Tokiwayama Oyakata, aged 75, of liver failure.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Grand Tournament Schedule". Japan Sumo Association.
  2. ^ "Sumo wrestler arrested in Roppongi for destruction of property". Tokyo Reporter. 8 January 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  3. ^ "Harumafuji out of New Year Basho; The Japan Times". japantimes.co.jp. Retrieved 2014-03-17.
  4. ^ "Hakuho beats Kakuryu in playoff to capture 28th title | The Japan Times". japantimes.co.jp. Retrieved 2014-01-26.
  5. ^ "Bulgarian sumo wrestler Kotooshu retires". Washington Post. 20 March 2014. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
  6. ^ "Yokozuna council recommends Kakuryu for promotion; The Japan Times". japantimes.co.jp. Retrieved 2014-03-25.
  7. ^ "Kakuryu promoted to yokozuna". Japan Times. 26 March 2014. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  8. ^ "Goeido promoted to ozeki for September basho". Japan Times. 30 July 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  9. ^ "SUMO/ Harumafuji pulls out, Hakuhō shares lead on Day 5". Asahi Shimbun. 18 September 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  10. ^ "SUMO/ Hakuho moves closer to 31st title by defeating Ichinojo on Day 14". Asahi Shimbun. 27 September 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  11. ^ "SUMO/ Hakuho wins autumn tourney to move into tie for 2nd on all-time list on Day 15". Asahi Shimbun. 28 September 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  12. ^ "SUMO/ Promise made to fabled Taihō drove Hakuhō to record-tying 32nd championship". Asahi Shimbun. 24 November 2014. Archived from the original on 4 January 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  13. ^ "SUMO/ Hakuhō claims 32nd championship, ties immortal Taiho on Day 15". Asahi Shimbun. 23 November 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2015.