Aran Hakutora

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Aran Hakutora
阿覧欧虎
Aran 2008 Sep.jpg
Personal information
Born Aran Gabaraev
(1984-01-31) January 31, 1984 (age 30)
Vladikavkaz, Russia
Height 1.87 m (6 ft 1 12 in)
Weight 141 kg (311 lb; 22.2 st)
Career
Stable Mihogaseki
Record 263-258
Debut January 2007
Highest rank Sekiwake (September, 2010)
Retired October 2013
Championships 1 (Jūryō)
1 (Jonokuchi)
Special Prizes Fighting Spirit (2)
* Up to date as of Oct 2013.

Aran Hakutora (Japanese 阿覧・欧虎 born January 31, 1984 as Ала́н Габара́ев Alan Gabaraev)[1] is a Russian former sumo wrestler. He began his professional career in January 2007 and made the top division in a record eleven tournaments. The highest rank he reached was sekiwake. He was runner-up in consecutive tournaments in May and July 2010 and earned two sanshō or special prizes for Fighting Spirit. He wrestled for Mihogaseki stable.

Career[edit]

Aran was born in Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia–Alania, Russia,[1] the same area as Rohō and Hakurozan. He began as an amateur wrestler, winning the Russian National Junior Championships. In October 2006 he won the open division of the World Amateur Sumo Championships held in Saitama, Japan, defeating Ichihara.[2] In December of that year, he joined Mihogaseki stable. Sumo rules allow only one foreigner per heya, and the departure of Baruto to the newly formed Onoe stable created an opening for him.[2]

He made his professional debut in January 2007, alongside Yamamotoyama. Although he was able to win only 2 out of 5 bouts in maezumo, he won the jonokuchi division championship in the next tournament with a perfect 7-0 record, and reached the second highest jūryō division after one and a half years in July 2008. He became the fourth Russian sekitori, after Rohō, Hakurozan, and Wakanohō. (Following the dismissal of these three for cannabis use and then the serious injury of the 5th Russian sekitori Amuru Mitsuhiro in January 2012, Aran had been the only one left). He made the top makuuchi division just two tournaments later in November 2008, after winning the jūryō division championship with a 12-3 record. The 11 tournaments it took him to reach makuuchi from his professional debut equalled the all-time record held by Kotoōshū,[3] now broken by Jokoryu.

Aran in May 2009.

Until the January 2009 tournament, in which he scored only 5-10, Aran had maintained a winning record in every tournament in which he had participated.[4] However, he responded two consecutive winning tournaments, which sent him up the banzuke to maegashira 1 for the July 2009 tournament in Nagoya. He defeated ōzeki Harumafuji there but was able to win only three other bouts. After three tournaments out of the limelight, he returned to the upper maegashira ranks in the March 2010 tournament, but lost 14 of his 15 matches. However, he put this disastrous performance behind him by scoring 12-3 in May, finishing runner-up to yokozuna Hakuhō and receiving a share of the Fighting Spirit prize, his first sanshō award. He had another good tournament in July, winning eleven bouts from maegashira 2, defeating two ozeki and once again finishing runner-up with a share of the Kantō-shō.

In the September 2010 tournament he made his san'yaku debut at sekiwake, becoming the first member of Mihogaseki stable to reach sumo's third highest rank since the current head coach, the former Masuiyama II, took over in 1984. He fell short with a 7-8 record, his only notable victory coming against the aging ōzeki Kaiō on the final day. He stayed in the san'yaku ranks at komusubi but could score only 4-11 in July. In January 2011 he beat ōzeki Baruto but finished on 5-10, and his 6-9 mark in May, despite a win over Kotoōshū, was his fourth consecutive losing score. He returned to form in July 2011, scoring 10-5 which led to his return to the komusubi rank. However, he had a losing 5-10 record in September 2011 which dropped him to the maegashira ranks for November, and he remained a maegashira throughout 2012.

Retirement from sumo[edit]

Though still at a comfortable rank of maegashira 7 in the September 2013 tournament, he chose to retire after posting a 3-12 record where he lost the last nine bouts, citing poor physical condition due to an oral disease. He would also have had to deal with the disruption of moving stables, with Mihogaeski stable folding and being absorbed into Kasugano stable on October 3.[5]

Fighting style[edit]

Aran's favoured techniques as listed with the Japan Sumo Association were migi-yotsu (a left hand outside, right hand inside grip on his opponent's mawashi), yori (grappling) and oshi (pushing).

He was criticised for not moving forward enough during his bouts and for relying heavily on henka (side-stepping) and slap down techniques.[6] Approximately one third of his wins were by hataki-komi (slap down), a much higher figure than most other wrestlers.[7]

Personal life[edit]

In January 2009 he announced his marriage, to a fellow Russian, although the couple had in fact wed in June 2008. They had a son in February 2010.

In January 2010 he revealed that in December 2008 he had undergone treatment for mouth cancer. The operation to remove the malignant tumour was a success, but caused him to drop 20 kilos in weight.

Career record[edit]

Aran Hakutora[8]
Year in sumo January
Hatsu basho, Tokyo
March
Haru basho, Osaka
May
Natsu basho, Tokyo
July
Nagoya basho, Nagoya
September
Aki basho, Tokyo
November
Kyūshū basho, Fukuoka
2007 (Maezumo) East Jonokuchi #33
7–0
Champion

 
West Jonidan #26
6–1
 
East Sandanme #60
5–2
 
East Sandanme #31
6–1
 
West Makushita #49
6–1
 
2008 East Makushita #21
6–1
 
East Makushita #5
4–3
 
West Makushita #2
5–2
 
East Jūryō #14
10–5
 
West Jūryō #6
12–3
Champion

 
West Maegashira #10
8–7
 
2009 West Maegashira #6
5–10
 
West Maegashira #11
10–5
 
West Maegashira #4
8–7
 
East Maegashira #1
4–11
 
East Maegashira #7
7–8
 
East Maegashira #8
7–8
 
2010 West Maegashira #10
10–5
 
West Maegashira #2
1–14
 
East Maegashira #10
12–3
F
East Maegashira #2
11–4
F
East Sekiwake #1
7–8
 
East Komusubi #1
4–11
 
2011 East Maegashira #3
5–10
 
East Maegashira #5
Tournament Cancelled
0–0–0
East Maegashira #5
6–9
 
West Maegashira #6
10–5
 
West Komusubi #1
5–10
 
East Maegashira #3
4–11
 
2012 East Maegashira #7
8–7
 
West Maegashira #4
9–6
 
East Maegashira #1
5–10
 
East Maegashira #5
9–6
 
East Maegashira #2
3–12
 
West Maegashira #7
8–7
 
2013 West Maegashira #4
7–8
 
East Maegashira #5
8–7
 
West Maegashira #3
4–11
 
East Maegashira #10
8–7
 
East Maegashira #7
3–12
 
East Maegashira #16
Retired
0–0
Record given as win-loss-absent    Top Division Champion Retired Lower Divisions

Sanshō key: F=Fighting spirit; O=Outstanding performance; T=Technique     Also shown: =Kinboshi(s); P=Playoff(s)
Divisions: MakuuchiJūryōMakushitaSandanmeJonidanJonokuchi

Makuuchi ranks: YokozunaŌzekiSekiwakeKomusubiMaegashira

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b http://sumodb.sumogames.de/Rikishi.aspx?r=6771
  2. ^ a b "The New Rikishi on the Banzuke: An Extraordinary Competition?". Le Monde du Sumo. March 2007. Retrieved 15 March 2009. 
  3. ^ Japan Sumo Association Banzuke Topics, November 2008.
  4. ^ http://www.szumo.hu/kekka/ARAN.HTM
  5. ^ "Russian Aran retires from sumo". Japan Times. October 8, 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2013. 
  6. ^ Buckton, Mark (30 September 2008). "Rising giants and falling champs in the autumn basho". Japan Times. Retrieved 15 March 2009. 
  7. ^ "Aran Bouts By Kimarite". Sumo Reference. Retrieved 15 March 2009. 
  8. ^ "Aran Hakutora Rikishi Information". Sumo Reference. Retrieved 2013-01-27. 

External links[edit]