Sunday, August 10, 2014

お誕生日おめでとうございます 鶴竜 力三郎 - Happy 29th Birthday Kakuryū Rikisaburō!!

English:  Happy 29th Birthday Kakuryū Rikisaburō 鶴竜 力三郎
Japanese:  お誕生日おめでとうございます (otanjōbi omedetō gozaimasu)
Mongolian:  Төрсөн өдрийн баяр хүргъе (Törsön ödriin bayar xürgiye)

Kakuryū has reached the highest rank in Sumo, the Yokozuna. Two consecutive tournament championships or an "equivalent performance" are the minimum requirement for promotion to yokozuna in modern sumo. Kakuryū accomplished that earlier this year and part of the matches are below for your viewing pleasure.

Kakuryū was the first to achieve the rank of Yokozuna since Harumafuji in 2012, the fourth Mongolian to do so, the sixth foreign-born yokozuna, and 71st overall.

Kakuryū was one of the lightest men in the division at around 130 kg (290 lb). He makes use of his agility by frequently employing henka (sidestepping) to outwit his opponents. He has steadily put on weight, however, and at the time of his yokozuna promotion was around 154 kg (340 lb). He prefers yotsu-sumo, a style which involves grabbing the opponent's mawashi, or belt, and forcing or throwing him to the edge of the ring. His favoured grip is migi-yotsu, with his left hand placed outside and right hand inside his opponent's arms. His three most common winning techniques are yori-kiri, the force out, oshi-dashi, the push out, and hataki-komi, the slap down. He is also fond of shitatenage, the underarm throw.


January 2014 - Day 15 - Hakuho v Kakuryu

It all comes down to this... a 14-0 yokozuna taking on a 13-1 ozeki in the final match on the final day. If Hakuho wins, the Emperor's Cup is his. If Kakuryu wins, he forces a playoff to see who will win the Cup (It will be Hakuho's 28th or Kakuryu's 1st).


January 2014 - Day 15 - PLAYOFF!! - Hakuho v Kakuryu

Against all the odds, Kakuryu was able to defeat the yokozuna in regulation play. So both men finish the Hatsu Basho with a 14-1 record and we now have a Playoff. Kakuryu is gunning for his 1st Emperor's Cup and Hakuho is going for his 28th - but his 1st in January for the past 3 years.

Osaka 2014 - Day 14 - Hakuho v Kakuryu

Yokozuna Hakuho (12-1) facing off against ozeki Kakuryu, also 12-1 and knowing that a win today over the yokozuna will put him in total control of who wins the 2014 Osaka Basho.

Osaka 2014 - Day 15 - Kakuryu v Kotoshogiku

OK - for ozeki Kakuryu it all comes down to this match. Win and he wins the Osaka Emperor's Cup - lose and he might have to have another playoff with yokozuna Hakuho. Ozeki Kotoshogiku (8-6), fresh off beating both yokozuna, will try his best to beat Kakuryu and further the drama of the moment.

Mongolian Sumo Hero Kakuryu Highlight Mix (Mar 2014)

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