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Takayasu Akira

Takayasu Akira
髙安 晃
Takayasu 2012 Jan 2.JPG
Personal information
Born Akira Takayasu
(1990-02-28) February 28, 1990 (age 28)
Tsuchiura, Ibaraki, Japan
Height 1.87 m (6 ft 1 12 in)
Weight 182 kg (401 lb; 28.7 st)
Web presence Tagonoura stable website
Career
Stable Tagonoura
Current rank Ōzeki
Debut March, 2005
Highest rank Ōzeki (July, 2017)
Championships 1 (Makushita)
Special Prizes Fighting Spirit (4)
Outstanding Performance (3)
Technique (2)
Gold Stars 4
Harumafuji (3)
Hakuhō
* Up to date as of March 25, 2018.

Takayasu Akira[1] (髙安 晃, born February 28, 1990 in Tsuchiura, Japan) is a Japanese sumo wrestler. He made his professional debut in 2005, and reached the top makuuchi division in 2011, the first wrestler born in the Heisei era to do so. His highest rank has been ōzeki. He has been runner-up in a tournament three times, and has earned nine special prizes: four for Fighting Spirit, three for Outstanding Performance and two for Technique. He has won four gold stars for defeating yokozuna. After achieving 34 wins in the three tournaments from January to May 2017, he was officially promoted to ōzeki on May 31, 2017.[2][3]

Early life and sumo background

Takayasu was born and raised in Tsuchiura, Ibaraki, to a Japanese father and a Filipino mother.[1] He was a catcher on his junior high school baseball team and expected to play for his high school club as well, but his father encouraged him to take up sumo, having noticed his physical resemblance to fellow Ibaraki Prefecture native Kisenosato.[4] Through his father's recommendation he joined Kisenosato's Naruto stable (now Tagonoura stable) upon graduating from junior high school.[4] Takayasu ran away from the stable several times due to the severe training, but on each occasion his father persuaded him to return.[4]

Career

Early career

On his entry to Naruto stable, he was already 180 centimeters tall and weighed 120 kilograms, and consequently had much expectation pinned on him from the start. His first tournament was in March, 2005. He made steady progress through the lower divisions, with only a few losing record or make-koshi tournaments. He won the yūshō or championship in the third makushita division in September, 2010 with a perfect 7–0 record. This propelled him into jūryō division, where along with Masunoyama became one of the first two sekitori to be born in the Heisei era.[5] He decided against adopting a traditional shikona despite reaching the elite and has continued to use his birth name. In his first jūryō tournament in November he almost pulled off a second consecutive championship, losing to Toyohibiki in a playoff after both finished with 11–4 records.

Makuuchi career

Takayasu in November 2011

After two more strong performances at jūryō Takayasu was promoted to the top makuuchi division in July, 2011. His debut record of 9–6 at maegashira 11 earned him a maegashira rank of no. 6 in the following tournament, then his highest, but he only managed a 6–9 record there. After a 9–6 score in the November 2011 tournament he was promoted to a new high of maegashira 3. He scored only 6–9 in the January 2012 tourney, but a 10–5 record in March saw him reach maegashira 1 in the May tournament.

Takayasu had his best result in the top division up to that point in the January 2013 tournament, finishing runner up on 12–3 and winning his first sanshō award for Fighting Spirit. He had two gold star wins in 2013, in two different tournaments, both at maegashira 1, and both against Harumafuji. The second win against Harumafuji also helped him procure his first Outstanding Performance prize, and his first promotion to the san'yaku ranks at komusubi. He only lasted one tournament at this rank however, and went into a bit of a slump before bouncing back with an 11–4 at the July 2014 tournament. In the November 2014 tournament he scored against top-ranked competition, earning two gold stars for defeating Harumafuji and Hakuhō and receiving the Outstanding Performance prize. This saw him promoted to komusubi once more at the beginning of 2015, but he once again fell short with a 6–9 record.

He had to withdraw from a tournament for the first time in his career in September 2015, but recovered with two winning records in the next two tournaments. After a poor performance in March 2016, a 9–6 result in May saw him promoted to komusubi for the third time. At Nagoya in July he produced his first winning record at a san'yaku rank with eleven wins, beating the ōzeki Kotoshōgiku, Goeido and Terunofuji and being awarded the Special Prize for Technique.[6] September saw him at sekiwake for the first time and he was in contention for the championship at 10–2 after twelve days, although he had a somewhat disappointing end to the tournament losing his last three bouts to maegashira ranked wrestlers. However, he was awarded his third Fighting Spirit Prize. His performance fueled speculation about a potential promotion to ōzeki but he failed to maintain his momentum in November, ending with a 7–8 record.

Back at komusubi in January 2017 Takayasu produced one of his best efforts as he finished in a tie for third place and was awarded the special prize for Fighting Spirit. His 11 wins included victories over yokozuna Kakuryū and Hakuhō and three of the four ōzeki (the fourth ōzeki was his stablemate Kisenosato).[7] In March 2017 Takayasu was back up to sekiwake at West "Sekiwake" #1. Takayasu was able to win his first 10 days straight, the first time he had ever gone 10–0 to start a tournament which put him in contention for the cup. On Day 11 and 12 Takayasu lost against yokozuna Kakuryū and Harumafuji, then on Day 13 lost against Yoshikaze. However, he was able to win the final two days and finish out the tournament with a 12–3 record. For his performance in the tournament he won the Outstanding Performance prize, for the third time. Having 23 wins in the last two tournaments in the titled ranks of san'yaku, it appeared that Takayasu would receive serious attention for promotion to ōzeki if he could achieve around 11 wins or more in the May 2017 tournament.[8] The Chairman of the Japan Sumo Association (JSA), Hakkaku, has called for him to show greater consistency, saying he "is competitive when he follows his winning formula, but he still has many weak points."[5] Takayasu achieved his target, recording his eleventh win with a victory over Harumafuji on the thirteenth day, and was awarded his second Technique prize. Immediately after the tournament Hakkaku announced that an extraordinary meeting of the JSA board of directors would be convened to consider Takayasu's promotion.[9] On May 31, Takayasu was officially promoted to ōzeki. During his promotion speech, he was quoted as saying "I will devote myself to sumo and compete fairly so I can live up to my name as ōzeki."[3]

Ōzeki

In his first tournament as an ōzeki Takayasu won eight of his first ten matches and appeared to be in contention for the championship, but a run of four consecutive defeats followed and he ended with a record of 9–6. The September tournament saw three of the four yokozuna withdraw beforehand due to injuries, and Takayasu seemed poised to challenge for the championship, but he injured a muscle in his right thigh in a match on the second day, and was himself forced to withdraw.[10] During the November tournament, Takayasu managed to win 8 matches, saving his rank but was again forced to withdraw after Day 12 due to a thigh injury.[11] In January 2018 he had his best result to date as an ōzeki, finishing runner-up to surprise winner Tochinoshin with a 12–3 record.[12] In the March tournament Takayasu started off with two losses but followed those up with 9 straight wins, before being defeated by Chiyomaru. Takayasu then went on to win his last three matches; handing yokozuna Kakuryu, who had already won the tournament going into Day 15, his second loss. Finishing the tournament with a 12-3 record Takayasu was a runner-up to Kakuryu, along side fellow runner-up Kaisei.[13]

Fighting style

Takayasu is an oshi-sumo specialist, preferring pushing and thrusting techniques (tsuki/oshi) to fighting on the opponent's mawashi. His most common winning kimarite so far in his career are yori-kiri (force out), hataki-komi (slap down) and oshi-dashi (push out). He has strengthened his physique and his pushing techniques through intense training sessions with his senior stablemate Kisenosato.[5]

Career record

Takayasu Akira[14]
Year in sumo January
Hatsu basho, Tokyo
March
Haru basho, Osaka
May
Natsu basho, Tokyo
July
Nagoya basho, Nagoya
September
Aki basho, Tokyo
November
Kyūshū basho, Fukuoka
2005 x (Maezumo) West Jonokuchi #29
4–3
 
West Jonidan #129
4–3
 
East Jonidan #98
4–3
 
East Jonidan #73
4–3
 
2006 West Jonidan #48
2–5
 
West Jonidan #78
3–4
 
West Jonidan #98
5–2
 
East Jonidan #44
3–4
 
West Jonidan #67
4–3
 
West Jonidan #41
5–2
 
2007 West Jonidan #5
4–3
 
East Sandanme #86
5–2
 
East Sandanme #55
5–2
 
West Sandanme #27
3–4
 
West Sandanme #41
4–3
 
East Sandanme #26
5–2
 
2008 East Sandanme #2
3–4
 
East Sandanme #11
4–3
 
West Makushita #59
4–3
 
West Makushita #51
3–4
 
East Sandanme #5
4–3
 
East Makushita #54
5–2
 
2009 East Makushita #39
2–5
 
East Sandanme #3
4–3
 
East Makushita #54
4–3
 
East Makushita #44
4–3
 
West Makushita #36
5–2
 
East Makushita #27
4–3
 
2010 West Makushita #22
4–3
 
West Makushita #18
5–2
 
West Makushita #10
4–3
 
East Makushita #6
2–5
 
West Makushita #13
7–0
Champion

 
East Jūryō #11
11–4–P
 
2011 East Jūryō #3
9–6
 
East Jūryō #1
Tournament Cancelled
0–0–0
East Jūryō #1
8–7
 
East Maegashira #11
9–6
 
East Maegashira #6
6–9
 
West Maegashira #8
9–6
 
2012 West Maegashira #3
6–9
 
East Maegashira #7
10–5
 
West Maegashira #1
5–10
 
West Maegashira #5
6–9
 
West Maegashira #9
10–5
 
East Maegashira #4
5–10
 
2013 East Maegashira #7
12–3
F
East Maegashira #1
5–10
West Maegashira #5
8–7
 
West Maegashira #1
9–6
O
West Komusubi #1
5–10
 
East Maegashira #3
3–12
 
2014 East Maegashira #9
9–6
 
West Maegashira #3
5–10
 
West Maegashira #8
6–9
 
West Maegashira #11
11–4
F
East Maegashira #2
7–8
 
East Maegashira #3
10–5
O
2015 East Komusubi #1
6–9
 
East Maegashira #3
3–12
 
West Maegashira #8
10–5
 
East Maegashira #2
6–9
 
West Maegashira #3
1–3–11
 
West Maegashira #12
9–6
 
2016 West Maegashira #8
11–4
 
West Maegashira #1
5–10
 
West Maegashira #5
9–6
 
West Komusubi #1
11–4
T
East Sekiwake #1
10–5
F
East Sekiwake #1
7–8
 
2017 East Komusubi #1
11–4
F
West Sekiwake #1
12–3
O
West Sekiwake #1
11–4
T
East Ōzeki #2
9–6
 
East Ōzeki #1
1–2–12
 
West Ōzeki #1
8–4–3
 
2018 West Ōzeki #1
12–3
 
East Ōzeki #1
12–3
 
x x x x
Record given as win-loss-absent    Top Division Champion Top Division Runner-up Retired Lower Divisions

Sanshō key: F=Fighting spirit; O=Outstanding performance; T=Technique     Also shown: =Kinboshi(s); P=Playoff(s)
Divisions: MakuuchiJūryōMakushitaSandanmeJonidanJonokuchi

Makuuchi ranks: YokozunaŌzekiSekiwakeKomusubiMaegashira

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Half-Pinoy sumo star to visit Manila". The Philippine Star. Retrieved September 27, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Relieved Takayasu eyeing first title with ozeki promotion in the bag". Japan Times. 29 May 2017. Retrieved 30 May 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "Sumo: Takayasu officially promoted to ozeki". Kyodo News. 31 May 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c "Ozeki-in-waiting Takayasu aiming for sumo's greatest heights". The Mainichi. 29 May 2017. Retrieved 30 May 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c "Takayasu eyes 2nd push for ozeki rank". Japan News/Yomiuri Shimbun. 10 May 2017. Retrieved 11 May 2017. 
  6. ^ "Harumafuji captures title at Nagoya Basho". Japan Times. July 24, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Kisenosato boosts case for promotion to yokozuna". Japan Times Online. January 22, 2017. 
  8. ^ "Kisenosato heads into Summer Basho as top-ranked fighter". Japan Times. 1 May 2017. Retrieved 9 May 2017. 
  9. ^ "Sumo: Takayasu all set for promotion to ozeki". Kyodo News. 29 May 2017. 
  10. ^ "高安と宇良が休場 3横綱1大関休場は18年ぶり". nikkansports.com. 12 September 2017. Retrieved 3 December 2017. 
  11. ^ "Injured Takayasu withdraws from Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament". The Japan Times. 24 November 2017. Retrieved 3 December 2017. 
  12. ^ "Champion Tochinoshin finishes New Year Basho in style". Japan Times. 28 January 2018. Retrieved 30 January 2018. 
  13. ^ "Sumo: Takayasu finishes strong with win over champion Kakuryu". The Mainichi. 26 March 2018. Retrieved 26 March 2018. 
  14. ^ "Takayasu Akira Rikishi Information". Sumo Reference. Retrieved 2011-10-22. 

External links

  • Takayasu Akira's official biography (English) at the Grand Sumo Homepage