I just watched the sumo wrap-up on NHK, and it was pretty sweet. Today Hakuho was pitted against ailing Ozeki, Kaiou (who incidentally just barely managed to hang on to his Ozeki status with a lackluster 8-7 record) and I thought there was no way he was going to lose, but lo and behold, The Man from Mongolia Mark 2 got SCHOOLED.
And then, and then, the biggest fish of them all, Asashouryuu was also summarily escorted off the dohyou by Tochiazuma (who may not quite be Yokozuna quality, but is still no slouch in the sumo department). Asa seemed extremely surprised by Tochiazuma's powerful attack and (I'm almost embarrassed to say this...) there was a bit of undignified arm-flailing on Asa's part as he struggled to get a grip on the other rikishi's mawashi (that's his belt to the folks at home).
But that provided the fans with exactly what they wanted to see: the two Japanese Ozekis vindicated and a sweet sudden death play-off between the two Mongolian Menaces, Dolgorsuren Dagvadorj (that's Asa) and Munkhbat Davaajargal (that's Hakuho, new nickname: Munkhbat the Mighty.)
It was a tense battle and hard-won, but Asa got the better of MtM with an under-arm throw, to win his 16th career tourney. Although he lost the match Hakuho is now assured of Ozeki status which means that if Kaiou doesn't step down we'll have five, count 'em, five Ozekis come May.
In other news two new records were set today. The first was that every prize in the top division went to a Mongolian wrestler:
1)The Shukun-sho or Outstanding Performance Award was awarded to Hakuho
2)The Kanto-sho or Fighting Spirit Prize was awarded to Kyokushuuzan (Daver Batobayal)
3)Two Gino-sho or Technique Prizes were awarded to Hakuho and Ama (Davaanyam Byambadorj)
The second was that for the first time in 43 years one wrestler swept the Juryou division with a perfect record; and that man was Kaido Hoovelson aka Baruto aka Balto.
Things are looking up!