"Since the 2008 title I hadn't managed to win a single tournament even on the local circuit, so I really wanted to do my best here", a teary-eyed Matsunaga explained his elation during the yusho interview. In addition to his position as physical education teacher he's (of course) also running the school's sumo club; however, at present there's just one student. Matsunaga hopes that the publicity from his victory will spur a few more to give it a try.
Smallish Nihon Taiiku 2nd-year student Atsushi Takita (listed at 180 cm / 112 kg last year) and teacher Yuta Nakamura from Toyoura-shi in Yamaguchi prefecture reached the semifinals to take third place. Kokutai champion and prospective makushita tsukedashi Masahiro Yamaguchi went out against Tanno in the first knockout round following the prelims (R32, I think) and was unable to hide his disappointment about his performance and was heard talking about perhaps taking a teaching job after graduation instead of turning professional.
The 68-strong field did not feature last year's champion Satoru Shibuya who was absent altogether with a hip injury, while this year's high school yokozuna Sasaki and university yokozuna Shodai both didn't survive the prelims, the latter even going 0-3 while still suffering the after-effects of a left foot injury he sustained in the All-Japan College group championships following his individual victory last month.
Some results via Mainichi:
Atsushi Takita (Nihon Taiiku University 2nd year) yorikiri Osamu Takahashi (Nagasaki Shimabara HS faculty)
圭功 Tanno (Akita Prefecture JASA) kirikaeshi Motoki Tomita (Wakayama prefectural government)
Yuta Nakamura (Yamaguchi Toyoura school faculty) shitatedashinage Kengo Arakizeki (Toyo University faculty)
Mutoshi Matsunaga (Nagaseki Yukokan HS faculty) yoritaoshi Hisashi Omichi (Toyo University 1st year)
Tanno okuridashi Takita
Matsunaga uwatenage Nakamura
Matsunaga uwatenage Tanno
Edited by Asashosakari, 04 December 2011 - 16:17.