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Japanese Sumo: Asashoryu Continues to Fall

July 20, 2009

Background: Maybe fame is finally catching up with Asashoryu. After seeming to be undefeatable in 2007, he became the first Yokozuna ever to be suspended by the Sumo Association of Japan. Asashoryu claimed he was injured and had to return home, later to find out he had participated in a local soccer game in Mongolia. It took quite a while for Asashoryu to return to competition, and so far he’s lost his aura of being undefeatable. Earlier this year he ended the tournament with 2 losses, while his main competitor Hakuhou was undefeated. The newspapers each reported on the recent Sumo Tournament in Nagoya, and how Asashoryu fairs compared with his competition.

Asahi “Asashoryu Continues to Lose, Hakuhou and Shikona Are Able to Protect their Undefeated Titles” According to the Asahi, Yokozuna Asashoryu got thrown down by the Ozeki Chiyotakai, and “suffered” a second loss. Both Hakuhou and Shikona had “very comfortable” wins.

Nikkei “Asashoryu Loses a Second Time, Hakuhou and Shikona Are Victorious” The Nikkei’s headline specifies that Asashoryu has only lost a second time, while the Asahi states “he continues to lose.” Also, the way the Nikkei describes Asashoryu’s loss makes it seem like an upset, more than a victory. They say he was thrown down by the Ozeki Chiyotakai, “without much power.” They then stated he suffered a second loss, “which overall was an upset.”

The Nikkei clearly favors Asashoryu over the other leading two newspapers, the Yomiuri and the Asahi.

Yomiuri “Asashoryu Continues to Lose, Hakuhou and Shikona Are Able to Protect their Undefeated Titles” The Yomimuri also chooses the language “continues to lose” instead of specifying that this is only Asashoryu’s second loss for the season. They then say Asashoryu lost “due to the Ozeki Chiyotakai’s pulling techniques, he fell flat on his belly.”

According to the Yomiuri, Hakuhou defended his title with a “rock solid battle.” Shikona also as Yokozuna defended his title with his ninth victory in a row.

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