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Kotoshogiku ends Japanese drought
24 Jan 2016 15:03
Kotoshogiku became Japan's first sumo champion in a decade after victory in the New Year Grand Tournament. The 31-year-old overpowered fellow Goeido to become the first Japanese wrestler to win an Emperor's Cup since Tochiazuma's 2006 triumph, Kyodo news agency reported. Kotoshogiku went into the final day of the 15-day contest needing a win to secure his victory over Mongolian Hakuho, a 35-times champion, and long-time friend Toyonoshima. The wrestler from Fukuoka achieved that in style, thrusting Goeido down at Ryogoku Kokugikan to clinch the title with a 14-1 record.
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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. Mongolians Hakuho and Asashoryu have dominated in recent years.
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