I don’t like to focus on the negative. I usually post stuff on the sumo because it’s just so fascinating. The Bulgarian Kotooshu (born Kaloyan Stefanov Mahlyanov, Wikipedia) was still the new kid on the block and a rising star when I first arrived in Japan. He was great to watch, though he made mistakes, he still had energy and enthusiasm so that he could win, and it seemed he was growing into the role of the top ranked wrestler, a yokozuna. However, he never got past Ozeki, the second highest rank and was demoted to Sekiwaki at the end of 2013. He won one tournament and the Emperor’s Cup in 2008 (Wikipedia), and he was the darling of the media, and was on all the Bulgarian Yoghurt advertisements. Throughout his sumo career he’s been plagued by various injuries to his knees and arms. This tournament is the worst I’ve seen of him perform. In fact, every time I’ve seen him live, he’s lost, and Monday was no different. However, one win for nine losses is a record that would mean he’d have to be further demoted or retire.
Below, is an in-form and on-fire Harumafuji (right) displaying his strength, whilst a very out-of-form (and possibly very deflated and demotivated) Kotooshu watches on.
In form Mongolian Harumafuji wins easily against a struggling Bulgarian Kotooshu in the Osaka Spring Tournament.
Another July summer Grand Sumo Tournament held in Nagoya has come and gone. This was one of the best tournaments yet, and the most unattended. Following the match-fixing scandals, fans did not have the appetite to go to their national sport. There were no reports of TV viewer numbers, but the only sold-out day was the final day. When I attended (day 12), there was less than half of the seats taken, whilst the cheapest seats were sold out, many of the box seats that are normally bought by companies and families remained empty.
Day of upsets
The final day saw the top-ranked Mongolian yokuzuna Hakuho (pictured below) was defeated by Estonian Baruto, leaving Hakuho with one of his worst records of 12-3 (win-loss). Whilst fellow Mongolian Harumafuji (pictured below) who now seems recovered from his injuries was denied his first undefeated record by rival Kisenosato. Harumafuji ended the tournament with 14-1, but had already won the Emperor’s cup yesterday.