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Bye bye Blue Dragon

7 Feb 10 | Re: Sumo retirement


Just a note to mark the retirement of Asashoryu, the controversial sumo great. He was the greatest of a number of Mongolian competitors who have entered the sport in recent years, and the only wrestler worthy of the title yokozuna (highest rank in sumo) for a fair proportion of the last decade. He’s been controversial partly because, like a lot of the non-Japanese who’ve come into sumo, he doesn’t always show the expected level of respect for the sport’s traditions, and partly because he’s apparently done a few things that might make John Terry raise a quizzical eyebrow. But there’s no denying his success, and part of the negative feeling comes from the Japanese fans’ frustration that there hasn’t been a home competitor who can challenge the foreigners’ dominance.

It’s one of my pet hates when people make fun of sumo. Obviously I can see why they do, but then again chasing a football round a field might look pretty comical if you weren’t familiar with the idea. The fact is that sumo is a demanding, very skilled sport, with perhaps more tradition and culture surrounding it than any other, and great to watch as well. I always look to see if it’s on whenever I have access to Eurosport or similar sport-ghetto channels.

So goodbye Asashoryu, and congratulations to Hakuho (also Mongolian) who is left as the only remaining yokozuna.

Thanks to Morio for the fab pic. Licence here.

Posted by RODNEY ANOA'I at 16:06

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