Kakuryū Rikisaburō

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Kakuryū Rikisaburō
鶴竜 力三郎
Kakuryu 08 Sep.jpg
Personal information
Born Mangaljalavyn Anand
(1985-08-10) August 10, 1985 (age 29)
Mongolia
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight 155 kg (342 lb; 24.4 st)
Career
Stable Izutsu
Current rank Yokozuna
Debut November, 2001
Highest rank Yokozuna (March, 2014)
Championships 1 (Makuuchi)
1 (Sandanme)
Special Prizes Technique (7), Outstanding Performance (2)
* Up to date as of Oct 28, 2014.

Kakuryū Rikisaburō (born August 10, 1985, as Mangaljalavyn Anand, Mongolian: Мангалжалавын Ананд) is a professional sumo wrestler from Sükhbaatar Province, Mongolia. He has been a member of the top makuuchi division since November 2006 and has earned nine special prizes, seven of those for technique. He reached the third highest sekiwake rank in July 2009, and in March 2012 he secured promotion to the second highest rank of ōzeki after finishing runner-up to yokozuna Hakuhō and accumulating a total of 33 wins in his previous three tournaments. After scoring 14 wins against one loss in both of the first two tournaments of 2014, and claiming the yūshō in the second, he was promoted to yokozuna.[1][2]

Early life and sumo background[edit]

Kakuryū Rikisaburō was born August 10, 1985, as Mangaljalavyn Anand.[3] His father was a university professor and he grew up dreaming of professional basketball, not sumo. At age 14, he decided to devote himself to sumo after seeing a tournament featuring fellow Mongolians Kyokutenho and Kyokushūzan on TV. He wrote a letter about his desires and had a friend translate it into Japanese. He then mailed the letter to several stables in Japan. Izutsu stable's head was impressed and invited Kakuryū to Japan.[4] Kakuryū's family had no background in Mongolian wrestling, and he had no experience in wrestling before coming to Japan.

Career[edit]

When Kakuryū joined Izutsu stable, he weighed just 65 kg (143 lb) and his oyakata former sekiwake Sakahoko joked he was better suited to be the stable's tokoyama (hairdresser) than a wrestler.[4] Kakuryū made his professional debut at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament in November 2001, then weighing 82 kg (181 lb).[5][6] After reaching the fourth highest sandanme division fairly quickly, he struggled, being demoted back to jonidan twice. After 17 tournaments, he finally won the sandanme championship in July 2004 with a 7–0 record and earned promotion to the makushita division.[4]

Kakuryū first reached sekitori status in November 2005 upon promotion to the jūryō division but fell short with a 5–10 record, dropping back to makushita. He returned to the second division in March 2006 and reached the top makuuchi division that November, after scoring 9 wins at the rank of jūryō 1 in the previous tournament.[6] He was the eighth Mongolian to make makuuchi after Kyokushūzan, Kyokutenhō, Asashōryū, Asasekiryū, Hakuhō, Harumafuji and Tokitenkū.[7] One of seven wrestlers to be promoted to makuuchi for that tournament, he made his debut halfway up the maegashira ranks at number 8, the highest since Miyabiyama began at maegashira 7 in March 1999. He came through with a solid 8–6 record.

After a strong 11–4 record in January 2008, which earned him his first sanshō for technique, Kakuryū was promoted to maegashira 1.[6] He was forced to withdraw during the November 2008 tournament after spraining his knee, marking the first time in his career that he had missed any bouts.[citation needed] In March 2009 he produced a fine 10–5 record from the maegashira 1 ranking, defeating three ōzeki. He won his last eight matches after standing at 2–5 on the seventh day. He was awarded his second Technique Prize. Kakuryū made his san'yaku debut in the following tournament in May 2009 at the rank of komusubi. In a similar fashion to his previous tournament he recovered from 2–5 down to win seven of his last eight bouts and was rewarded with another Technique Prize.[6]

Kakuryū in May 2009

In July 2009 Kakuryū was promoted to sekiwake.[6] He was the 144th wrestler to earn the rank, and the first from his stable since Terao in 1989.[7] He was only able to win five bouts in his sekiwake debut and fell back to the maegashira ranks. He responded with a strong 11–4 score, earning his third Technique prize in four tournaments and fourth overall. He returned to the sekiwake rank for the November tournament and finished with a 7–8 record that kept him in the san'yaku ranks. Disappointing performances in his next three tournaments saw him slip to maegashira 6, but he responded by winning eleven bouts in July 2010, finishing as joint runner-up and winning his fifth Technique award. He returned to komusubi in September 2010 and moved up to sekiwake in November. On the final day of that tournament, he was defeated by fellow sekiwake Tochiōzan to finish 7–8.[6]

Ranked at komusubi in the May 2011 "technical examination" tournament, Kakuryū finished runner-up for the second time with a 12–3 record, winning his sixth Technique prize. Promoted to sekiwake for the July tournament, he defeated three ōzeki and finished 10–5. In a strong position for possible promotion to ōzeki, Kakuryū started that next tournament 3–4. His final record of 9–6 was insufficient to earn a promotion.[6]

In the January 2012 tournament, Kakuryū defeated yokozuna Hakuhō for the first time, and was awarded his first Outstanding Performance Prize.[8] It was his first victory over a yokozuna in 27 attempts (previously he had been 0–20 against Hakuhō and 0–6 against Asashōryū).

In the March 2012 tournament held in Osaka, Kakuryū defeated Hakuhō for the second time in a row on Day 9, and entered the final day of the tournament one win ahead of the yokozuna at 13–1, his only loss thus far being to Kisenosato on Day 8. However, he was defeated by Gōeidō, and Hakuhō's defeat of Baruto ensured a playoff between the two Mongolians. Hakuhō gained revenge on Kakuryū to claim his 22nd tournament title. Although he missed out on his first championship, Kakuryū received prizes for Outstanding performance and Technique.[9] Kakuryū said that inexperience cost him in his playoff against Hakuhō and that a tournament victory was "too soon for me."[10] Kakuryū's 33 wins over three tournaments was, however, enough to grant him a promotion to ōzeki. The promotion marked the first time there were six active ōzeki simultaneously.[11] It took him 62 tournaments from his professional debut to make ōzeki, which was the tenth slowest in sumo history, and the slowest of the nine foreigners who have made the rank.[12]

After an unremarkable 2013, in which scored no better than ten wins in any of the six tournaments, Kakuryū surprised many observers with a 14–1 performance in January 2014, defeating Hakuhō in their regulation match and only losing the title in a playoff against him on the final day. It was the fourth runner-up title of his career.[6] He followed it up with a 14–1 record in March 2014, defeating both Hakuhō and Harumafuji en route to the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament title. It was his first top division yūshō.[2] Having satisfied the minimum requirement of two consecutive championships or "the equivalent", the Yokozuna Deliberation Council unanimously recommended his promotion on 24 March, which was confirmed by the Japan Sumo Association on 26 March.[13] Kakuryū was the first to achieve the rank since Harumafuji in 2012, the fourth Mongolian to do so, the sixth foreign-born yokozuna, and 71st overall. "I am determined to focus all my efforts to train even harder and be certain to give all my strength not to defile the yokozuna name," he remarked.[2] His first tournament as a yokozuna ended in disappointment as he gave up an early kinboshi to Endō on Day 4 and lost his last three matches to finish on 9-6.

Fighting style[edit]

In 2006, at the beginning of his top division career, Kakuryū was one of the lightest men in the division at around 130 kg (290 lb). He makes use of his agility by frequently employing henka (sidestepping) to outwit his opponents. He has steadily put on weight, however, and at the time of his yokozuna promotion was around 154 kg (340 lb). He prefers yotsu-sumo, a style which involves grabbing the opponent's mawashi, or belt, and forcing or throwing him to the edge of the ring. His favoured grip is migi-yotsu, with his left hand placed outside and right hand inside his opponent's arms. His three most common winning techniques are yori-kiri, the force out, oshi-dashi, the push out, and hataki-komi, the slap down. He is also fond of shitatenage, the underarm throw.[14] As a yokozuna, he performs the Unryū-gata style.[2]

Career record[edit]

Kakuryū Rikisaburō[6]
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
2001 x x x x x (Maezumo)
2002 West Jonokuchi #32
5–2
 
West Jonidan #97
4–3
 
East Jonidan #74
5–2
 
West Jonidan #32
6–1
 
East Sandanme #70
5–2
 
West Sandanme #40
1–6
 
2003 West Sandanme #76
2–5
 
East Jonidan #4
4–3
 
East Sandanme #87
3–4
 
East Jonidan #5
5–2
 
West Sandanme #70
3–4
 
West Sandanme #86
6–1
 
2004 East Sandanme #25
4–3
 
West Sandanme #13
4–3
 
East Sandanme #3
3–4
 
West Sandanme #17
7–0–P
Champion

 
West Makushita #14
1–6
 
West Makushita #35
4–3
 
2005 West Makushita #27
4–3
 
West Makushita #21
5–2
 
West Makushita #12
4–3
 
West Makushita #7
4–3
 
East Makushita #5
5–2
 
West Jūryō #14
5–10
 
2006 East Makushita #3
5–2
 
West Jūryō #11
9–6
 
West Jūryō #8
9–6
 
East Jūryō #4
9–6
 
West Jūryō #1
9–6
 
West Maegashira #8
8–7
 
2007 East Maegashira #8
6–9
 
West Maegashira #11
9–6
 
West Maegashira #5
6–9
 
East Maegashira #8
9–6
 
West Maegashira #2
7–8
 
East Maegashira #3
4–11
 
2008 East Maegashira #8
11–4
T
West Maegashira #1
6–9
 
West Maegashira #3
5–10
 
West Maegashira #7
8–7
 
East Maegashira #5
7–8
 
East Maegashira #6
5–6–4
 
2009 West Maegashira #8
9–6
 
West Maegashira #1
10–5
T
East Komusubi #1
9–6
T
East Sekiwake #1
5–10
 
West Maegashira #3
11–4
T
West Sekiwake #1
7–8
 
2010 West Komusubi #1
7–8
 
East Maegashira #1
6–9
 
East Maegashira #3
6–9
 
East Maegashira #6
11–4
T
West Komusubi #1
9–6
 
West Sekiwake #1
7–8
 
2011 West Komusubi #1
8–7
 
East Komusubi #1
Tournament Cancelled
0–0–0
East Komusubi #1
12–3
T
West Sekiwake #2
10–5
 
East Sekiwake #2
9–6
 
West Sekiwake #1
10–5
 
2012 East Sekiwake #1
10–5
O
East Sekiwake #1
13–2–P
OT
West Ōzeki #3
8–7
 
West Ōzeki #3
9–6
 
West Ōzeki #3
11–4
 
East Ōzeki #1
9–6
 
2013 West Ōzeki #1
8–7
 
East Ōzeki #2
8–7
 
West Ōzeki #1
10–5
 
East Ōzeki #2
10–5
 
West Ōzeki #1
9–6
 
East Ōzeki #2
9–6
 
2014 West Ōzeki #1
14–1–P
 
East Ōzeki #1
14–1
 
East Yokozuna #2
9–6
 
Yokozuna #2
11–4
 
West Yokozuna #1
11–4
 
West Yokozuna #1

 
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. ^ "SUMO/ Kakuryu wins first title and likely promotion to yokozuna". Asahi Shimbun. March 23, 2014. Retrieved March 24, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Sumo: Kakuryu promoted to highest rank of yokozuna". Mainici. March 26, 2014. Retrieved March 26, 2014. 
  3. ^ Japan Sumo Association profile
  4. ^ a b c Takuta Minoda (March 24, 2014). "Slow but steady, Kakuryu finally reaches the top". The Asahi Shimbum. Retrieved March 26, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Kakuryu to be promoted to yokozuna". Japan Times. March 24, 2014. Retrieved March 26, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Kakuryu Rikisaburo". Sumo Reference. Retrieved March 26, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Kakuryu Rikisaburo". Sumo Webpaper. Retrieved March 26, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Sumo: Hakuho denies Baruto perfect record on final day of New Year sumo". Mainichi Daily News. January 23, 2012. Archived from the original on January 26, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Sumo: Hakuho rallies to win 22nd career title at spring sumo". Mainichi Daily News. March 26, 2012. Archived from the original on March 26, 2012. 
  10. ^ "SUMO/ Kakuryu misses title, but seals ozeki promotion". Asahi Shimbun. Retrieved March 26, 2012. 
  11. ^ "大関鶴竜が誕生モンゴル出身で4人目". Chugoku News. March 28, 2012. 
  12. ^ "After 62 basho, Kakuryu wins promotion to ozeki". Yomiuri Shimbun. March 29, 2012. Retrieved March 28, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Yokozuna council recommends Kakuryu for promotion". Japan Times. March 24, 2014. Retrieved March 24, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Wins of Kakuryu". Sumo Reference. Retrieved 2008-06-11. 

External links[edit]

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