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Friday, May 11, 2001
Wrestlers shooting for new records in upcoming basho
Ozeki Kaio will be aiming for promotion to the top rank of yokozuna when the 15-day Summer Grand Sumo Tournament gets under way at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan on Sunday. But a number of other wrestlers in sumo's premier division will also be seeking personal milestones when they step onto the raised ring.
Former komusubi Daizen, 36, will have his 1,300th fight on day four. The No. 14 maegashira will then rank fourth behind active wrestlers Terao, Akinoshima and Takatoriki for most bout appearances.
On the fifth day, Kotonowaka will reach the 1,200 mark, while Hamanoshima has bout No. 800 on the last day. Both Tosanoumi and Toki will break the 600 barrier during this tournament, and Wakanosato and Hayateumi should also pass notable career marks at 500 and 200 respectively.
Tamakasuga, with just one more win, Wakanosato with 10 and both Tochiazuma and Otsukasa with 11 victories can all reach the 300-win plateau during this tournament. Mongolian Asashoryu, newly promoted to the komusubi rank, will reach 100 wins in his young career if he succeeds in posting 10 black stars for the upcoming tourney.
Akinoshima will move into a tie for sixth in all-time makuuchi division appearances, alongside Mitoizumi, who retired last September. They will each have competed in 79 tournaments in the premier league.
Higonoumi, in his 50th basho, is ranked eighth among active wrestlers. Kotoryu, who pulled out due to injury in the spring tourney, makes his 30th appearance, and Takanowaka his 10th.
Akinoshima, wrestling as a No. 9 maegashira, will move past Dewanishiki on the fourth day into eighth place in the record books for total number of makuuchi bouts. He will have 1,095.
Higonoumi, the 11th-ranked maegashira, can reach the 700-bout level, and both ozeki Miyabiyama and top maegashira Wakanosato will step up to their 200th fights during this year's summer tourney.
Yokozuna Takanohana, gunning for his 22nd tourney title, can move into fourth place in the record books if he can chalk up 12 or more victories this time. That will give him 684 wins. Former yokozuna great Chiyonofuji sits atop the overall list with 807 career wins.
Takatoriki, a former sekiwake currently at No. 14 maegashira, sits in sixth place among active wrestlers and can reach the 500-win plateau when he achieves 12 or more wins.
Iron man streak
Asanowaka will extend his record of consecutive bout appearances to 800 if he makes it through the entire 15-day tournament this time, while Hamanoshima, wrestling in the second-tier juryo division, will reach 800 on the eighth day.
The all-time record for consecutive bouts is 1,360, set by former sekiwake Aobajo from May 1964 to July 1986.