The First European

So, to finish the sumo thread for this month, the Bulgarian Kotooshu has become the first ever European to win an Emperor’s Cup. On the 14th day he threw down Ama and became uncatchable. Last night, the 15th day of the basho, he won again to finish at 14 wins and one loss.

Kotooshu’s father was in the arena for the last two nights, flying a small Bulgarian flag and shaking the hands of everyone close — “That’s my boy!” Kotooshu, of course, beamed with his signature smile as he hugged the huge trophy.

I was most interested in how the sumo crowd would react and I was pleased to see their cheering acceptance of his victory — you could almost hear them whispering, “At least he isn’t another Mongolian!” Kotooshu is the seventh foreigner to win the Cup, the others being Mongolians, a Samoan and a couple of Hawai’ian Americans.

The accompanying picture shows Kotooshu surrounded by his supporters, and holding up the traditional sea bream prizes. His father is immediately behind him and his stablemaster is sitting to his right.

By the way, my man Asashoryu beat up on Hakuho in the final grudge match of last night.  He then gave Hakuho a small extra shove, which the younger man didn’t care for and there was a most un-sumolike confrontation in the middle of the ring between the two yokozuna.

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