Mongolian born yokozuna (grand champion) Asashoryu is the bad boy of Japanese sumo wrestling but probably the most talented wrestler in the sport today.
Born in the Monglian capital of Ulan Bator, Asashoryu reached sumo's highest rank in 2003 and was the first Mongolian wrestler to do so. He is the trailblazer for the other Mongolians who have entered the sport in his wake including fellow yokozuna Hakuho.
Asashoryu has courted controversy throughout his career and was given a temporary ban by the Japanese Sumo Association in 2007 for feigning injury and withdrawing from a regional sumo tour to turn out in a charity soccer game in his homeland.
Asashoryu first came to Japan as an exchange student in Kochi and comes from a family of talented Mongolian wrestlers.
Asahoryu holds various records as a champion wrestler: he was the first yokozuna to win all six basho (tournaments) in a calendar year in 2005, the first yokozuna to be disqualified from a bout (after pulling on his opponent's hair) and the first yokozuna to make a court appearance to answer charges of match-fixing (which he won).
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009