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Sumo Wrestling's Newest Champion Euro-Trashes Stereotypes

Kotooshu of Bulgaria, the first European sumo wrestler to win an Emperor's CupKotooshu of Bulgaria, the first European sumo wrestler to win an Emperor's Cup

 

His name is Kaloyan Mahlyanov, but for the past 6 years the strapping, 6'7" Bulgarian has made a name for himself in Japan as "Kotooshu" (Ko-TOH-shu). It's taken him 34 tournaments, but at last Kotooshu has achieved a singular honor as the very first European to win sumo wrestling's coveted Emperor's Cup.


Kotooshu (right) charges his opponent on the final day of the 2008 Spring Sumo Tournament in TokyoKotooshu (right) charges his opponent on the final day of the 2008 Spring Sumo Tournament in Tokyo

 

The Emperor's Cup is awarded to the winner of a Grand Sumo tournament consisting of 15 bouts contested over a 2-week period. Six tournaments are held each year, and since early 2006 the victors have been either veteran powerhouse Asashoryu or serious up & comer Hakuho - both hailing from Mongolia and both being Yokozuna. Kotooshu defeated each of these top-ranked wrestlers on consecutive days, enabling him to sport a sparkling 14-1 record at the tournament's close.





The 346-pound Kotooshu looks somewhat incongruous in full sumo regalia with his hair styled in the traditional manner. He also doesn't fit the "big & fat" stereotype, being likened by many in the Japanese media as the "David Beckham of Sumo".


Kotooshu takes a celebratory convertible ride through Tokyo's streetsKotooshu takes a celebratory convertible ride through Tokyo's streets

 

Smiling broadly after his stunning triumph and during the post-tournament ceremonies, Kotooshu received a multitude of trophies and awards including a vase of gold roses from Bulgaria's ambassador to Japan.


Proud Papa congratulates Kotooshu on his day of triumphProud Papa congratulates Kotooshu on his day of triumph

 

With his silver-haired father, Stefanov, in attendance at Tokyo's cavernous Ryogoku Kokugikan and waving a small Bulgarian flag, Kotooshu was obviously thrilled with his victory yet still retained his customary humility, saying "I have no words to express. I am so happy. I finally did it!"

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Steve Levenstein
J A P A N O R A M A
InventorSpot.com

Comments
May 26, 2008
by Anonymous

hello

Posted this link in www.surfurls.com

May 27, 2008
by Anonymous

prodigal son?

Steve, you captioned the last photo "Proud Papa congratulates the prodigal son on his day of triumph". Look up "prodigal". It means "characterized by profuse or wasteful expenditure". Remember the bible story? The prodigal son spent his inheritance foolishly. What on earth does that have to do with Kotooshu? Are you saying he is a foolish overspender and his father had to come and bail him out of debt?

May 27, 2008
by Steve Levenstein
Steve Levenstein's picture

I stand corrected - and will

I stand corrected - and will change the caption. Kotooshu's anything but "prodigal". Thanks for pointing that out.