Japan celebrates first Sumo champ in a decade

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Kotoshogiku becomes the first Japanese national sumo wrestler in ten years to win a championship. Rough Cut – Subtitled (no reporter narration).

Japan celebrates first Sumo champ in a decade

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ROUGH CUT – SUBTITLED (NO REPORTER NARRATION)

STORY: Kazuhiro Kotoshogiku became the first Japanese national to win a sumo championship in a decade after he clinched the Emperor’s Cup in the New Year Grand Tournament on Sunday (January 24).

The 31-year-old overpowered fellow wrestler Goeido on Sunday the final day of the 15-day contest to secure his victory over Mongolian Hakuho, a 35-time champion, and long-time friend Toyonoshima, according to Kyodo news agency.

This was the first Japanese national to win this cup since Tochiazuma’s 2006 triumph, Kyodo added.

Fans outside the Kokugikan sumo stadium cheered the new champion as he left fresh from his victory on Sunday, waving at the crowds seated in an open-roof car.

Hiroki Inamoto, a civil servant who was following tournament, on Monday said he was proud of Kotoshogiku.

Sumo was practised by only Japanese competitors from its first organised basho (tournament) in the 17th century until a little more than a hundred years ago, when foreign-born wrestlers began to participate.

Now foreign wrestlers, especially from Mongolia, such as Hakuho and Asashoryu, have dominated the championships in recent years.

Tags : decade, champ, Sumo, first, celebrates, japan

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