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.
Posted by RODNEY ANOA'I at 16:06