Kintamayama

Sumo articles by journalists who are Forum members/or not

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James H    0

Apologies for being (Sign of approval...) - no story on Saturday's bouts (my first fusensho, or is it kyujo?.. since September 2004 (I am not worthy...)) because I was at a Nerima hospital helping / hindering my wife as she gave birth to our second boy...

Edited by James H

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Doitsuyama    1,001
Apologies for being (Sign of approval...) - no story on Saturday's bouts (my first fusensho, or is it kyujo?.. since September 2004 (I am not worthy...)) because I was at a Nerima hospital helping / hindering my wife as she gave birth to our second boy...

That's happy news, congrats to you and your wife. Fusensho? Hmm, maybe you won, and your readers are the losers. getting the fusenpai?

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Asashosakari    9,475
my first fusensho, or is it kyujo?

I think it was a shindeshi examination. (Sign of approval...) Congrats to your family on the happy news!

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sekihiryu    42

Reading MB's piece in the JT one would think that Asa is washed up has been and the fat lady has sung, personally I dont think thats the case, for one month of training after 4-5 months layoff, he wasnt looking too shabby. Two months of hard core keiko and come the Haru Basho he will be fired up and back for real. It would be prudent to reserve judgement untill at least then.

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kaiguma    0
Reading MB's piece in the JT one would think that Asa is washed up has been and the fat lady has sung, personally I dont think thats the case, for one month of training after 4-5 months layoff, he wasnt looking too shabby. Two months of hard core keiko and come the Haru Basho he will be fired up and back for real. It would be prudent to reserve judgement untill at least then.

Ditto ditto ditto, way biased repporting there, which only backs up my theory that MB is actually Uchidate.

But the 2nd half of that article is cracking good sir, so I was happy by the end of it (I am going off-topic...)

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Reading MB's piece in the JT one would think that Asa is washed up has been and the fat lady has sung, personally I dont think thats the case, for one month of training after 4-5 months layoff, he wasnt looking too shabby. Two months of hard core keiko and come the Haru Basho he will be fired up and back for real. It would be prudent to reserve judgement untill at least then.

Ditto ditto ditto, way biased repporting there, which only backs up my theory that MB is actually Uchidate.

But the 2nd half of that article is cracking good sir, so I was happy by the end of it (Laughing...)

Guess you can please some of the people some of the time etc....

Anyway - glad the second half pleased you and reached the spot.

You'll have to join me on the Japan Times Sports Chat page next time sumo features for a live chat.

(Tues before, during and after basho) at 2200 JST as that will be taking place in the hours after the next pre basho piece so you can get your views there online - as fresh as the morning milk in days of old!

http://jt-sports.chatango.com/

(or join the other lads as they do feature different sports (baseball / basketball / general / football) in a live dicsussion at different times - check the JT page for all times if of interest)

BTW - I'm a NY Giants man now! For the superbowl that is.

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philafuji    1
Reading MB's piece in the JT one would think that Asa is washed up has been and the fat lady has sung, personally I dont think thats the case, for one month of training after 4-5 months layoff, he wasnt looking too shabby. Two months of hard core keiko and come the Haru Basho he will be fired up and back for real. It would be prudent to reserve judgement untill at least then.

Ditto ditto ditto, way biased repporting there, which only backs up my theory that MB is actually Uchidate.

But the 2nd half of that article is cracking good sir, so I was happy by the end of it (On the banzuke...)

Guess you can please some of the people some of the time etc....

Anyway - glad the second half pleased you and reached the spot.

You'll have to join me on the Japan Times Sports Chat page next time sumo features for a live chat.

(Tues before, during and after basho) at 2200 JST as that will be taking place in the hours after the next pre basho piece so you can get your views there online - as fresh as the morning milk in days of old!

http://jt-sports.chatango.com/

(or join the other lads as they do feature different sports (baseball / basketball / general / football) in a live dicsussion at different times - check the JT page for all times if of interest)

BTW - I'm a NY Giants man now! For the superbowl that is.

Sorry for you Mark. New England is going to win it. If they don't you can give me numerous blows with the cain.

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[ Sorry for you Mark. New England is going to win it. If they don't you can give me numerous blows with the cain.

to be honest you could write everything I know about the NFL on the back of a stamp but even if NY do won - don't fret, I won't hit you with a cain - don't think I'd be abel.

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kaiguma    0
don't fret, I won't hit you with a cain - don't think I'd be abel.

Oh Dear God, that's 'orrible Mark! ;-)

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James H    0

Not to blow one's own trumpet... but this went up a few weeks back too.

THE INSIDE GRIP: Kotooshu suffering case of the bends

James Hardy / Daily Yomiuri Sportswriter

So can the big Bulgarian do it? Can Kotooshu back up May's remarkable title-winning performance at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament and earn promotion to yokozuna this month?

If Hochi Shimbun's report of Monday's press conference is any guide, no.

Speaking to reporters in Aichi Prefecture, the ozeki was bombarded with questions about his ability to make the step up. As his top wrestler grew quieter and quieter, stablemaster Sadogatake asked reporters: "Please ask him easier questions.

"He's still vulnerable to pressure [about this issue]. Even I don't talk about his promotion prospects."

There were a few moments of brightness. Asked how he overcame the pressure of being the favorite for the July 13-27 tournament, Kotooshu replied: "By not answering any of your questions."

The bigger question of how the ozeki went from struggling to keep his rank to Emperor's Cup holder hasn't really been dealt with yet.

But in an analysis published by Ozumo magazine (a translation appeared in The Daily Yomiuri on June 21), Kei Hirokawa noted that Sadogatake had "crafted a sapping training regime that focused on fortifying Kotooshu's lower body strength" and on improving the ozeki's stance at the tachiai to avoid pulldowns.

In an interview with this month's edition of the same magazine, Kotooshu said consecutive wins on the opening two days in Tokyo had been vital.

"I won back-to-back from shonichi. That was big," Kotooshu said. "If I had lost those bouts, my sumo would have been shaky. If I keep winning, then my confidence grows. If I had lost early, my confidence would have been shot."

Kotooshu is being admirably honest here, but his comments highlight the biggest obstacle to his chances of repeating as champion in Nagoya.

Kotooshu's mental toughness--or lack thereof--was exposed in 2005 when he blew two chances to win the Emperor's Cup. In July of that year, a final-day loss to Wakanosato, then a No. 2 maegashira, stopped him from forcing a playoff against yokozuna Asashoryu. He managed to force a playoff that September, but again came second-best to the yokozuna when it mattered. The year's final tournament saw Kotooshu finish second for the third time in a row, but it was enough to earn promotion to ozeki.

Prior to May, his record as an ozeki of 111 wins to 85 losses (a .567 winning percentage) was hardly the stuff of a potential yokozuna. Nor was a record of only three double-digit winning records from 14 tournaments worthy of the rank.

To be fair, Kotooshu's problems haven't just been mental--he has suffered serious knee injuries and had the misfortune of competing alongside one of the modern era's greatest yokozuna. But his mediocre record over the past two years is being held against him, not least by Japan Sumo Association chairman Kitanoumi.

He said Kotooshu would "need something like a 15-0 performance" to even get the Yokozuna Deliberation Council talking about promotion. Council member Makiko Uchidate agreed. "[Kotooshu's] championship was on the back of a losing record," she told reporters in May.

"Although the guidelines say consecutive titles are enough to gain promotion [to yokozuna], there are questions over whether he can be a strong yokozuna."

So even if Kotooshu's new practice regime and position at the tachiai lead him to a second straight Emperor's Cup, there are no assurances these improvements will be enough.

But perhaps they shouldn't be. Takanohana won seven Emperor's Cups before his promotion to yokozuna, despite doing enough under the "title or title equivalent" that is used as the guideline for promotion. More recently, Hakuho had to wait almost a year to get the call--his 13-2 runnerup record in July 2006 was not enough after winning the previous basho. In both cases, the wait was justified.

Kotooshu's performance in Monday's press conference suggests this is all academic, anyway.

If the ozeki is finding the pressure of answering questions about being a yokozuna too much, then it seems unlikely he will be able to do enough in the ring to become one anytime soon.

(Jul. 2, 2008)

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kaiguma    0
Not to blow one's own trumpet...

Hey, in case you ever want to learn how, I hear practicing mattawari can help to get you halfway there...

Oh, and thank you for your testament to good journalism. For awhile I thought it was not possible in this day and age.

(Applauding...)

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Asashosakari    9,475
Kotooshu's mental toughness--or lack thereof--was exposed in 2005 when he blew two chances to win the Emperor's Cup. In July of that year, a final-day loss to Wakanosato, then a No. 2 maegashira, stopped him from forcing a playoff against yokozuna Asashoryu. He managed to force a playoff that September, but again came second-best to the yokozuna when it mattered. The year's final tournament saw Kotooshu finish second for the third time in a row, but it was enough to earn promotion to ozeki.

An excellent article, but darn, you really gave the house away in that paragraph. (Applauding...) It's not so much that he managed to force a playoff in Aki basho, as he had it forced upon him, having fallen into a tie from a two-win lead with three days to go...

In an interview with this month's edition of the same magazine, Kotooshu said consecutive wins on the opening two days in Tokyo had been vital.

"I won back-to-back from shonichi. That was big," Kotooshu said. "If I had lost those bouts, my sumo would have been shaky. If I keep winning, then my confidence grows. If I had lost early, my confidence would have been shot."

Uh-oh...

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James H    0
An excellent article, but darn, you really gave the house away in that paragraph. (Applauding...) It's not so much that he managed to force a playoff in Aki basho, as he had it forced upon him, having fallen into a tie from a two-win lead with three days to go...

You are right about that... my bad.

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