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Manekineko

Kotonowaka

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Jonosuke quoth:

Kotonowaka - Still Alive and Well at 35

========================================

"You are so strong," Kotomitsuki, mimicing  left and

right oshi moves, greeted his senior heya mate

Kotonowaka who returned to the dressing room by. Even

normally cool Kotonowaka showed a smile on the

'praise' from his little heya brother.

After tachiai, Kotonowaka stopped Kakizoe's head

strong push with his 191 cm tall body. He wrapped his

opponent with his arms and stopped his movement. And

then using his long reach and push to the throat, he

easily threw him out of the dohyo.

This was his 1094th career Makuuchi appearence, now

tied ninth most in the sumo history. In his second

Makuuchi basho, Kakizoe has more youth but Kotonowaka

can cover  with his long years of experience. The last

he had only one loss on Day 6 was at the Nagoya Basho

in 1999.

Actually for Kotonowaka this was a do or die basho.

This year's Nagoya Basho on Day 2, he suffered a

serious right arm injury considered to be career

ending when he beat Asashoryu by abise-taoshi. He went

on kyujo and was ready to retire as he was also

suffering from chronic knee injury.  However his

shisho and father-in-law, Sadogatake oyakata

did not accept it, telling him, "Unless you don't

finish with the best efforts, you will be miserable

forever. You retire sumo only after you left

memorable performance."

Kotonowaka missed the whole Aki Basho and faced this

basho as Maegashira 12. Though he once persuaded not

to retire, Sadogatake oyakata decided to let

Kotonowaka retire if he did not start out with

respectable showing.

"Well it's a great relief now that I don't have

to worry about it any more," Sadogatake oyakata

admitted. It may be his father-in-law who is most

pleased about Kotonowaka's great showing this basho.

In two years Sadogatake oyakata reaches his mandatory

retirement age of 65, then Kotonowaka is due to take

over the heya. "I will do my best for a little more

while," said Kotonowaka, the oldest sekitori at 35,

still alive and more than well this basho.

(Heart)

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It is really great to see an oldie like him performing so well.

Maybe he has finally developed the killer instinct that was lacking all throughout his career only when his back was to the wall.

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Another (Heart) from me. And my eternal gratitude goes to Sadogatake Oyakata (Scratching chin...) Phew..... To think I was that close to losing TWO of my favourites at the same time..... (Yikes...)

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