JAPAN HAS ITS FIRST SUMO CHAMPION IN A DECADE
(P4) The international domination of the traditional Japanese sumo style of WRESTLING began with Konishiki and other Hawaiian wrestlers in the 1990s. It continued with the arrival of the Mongolian wrestler Asashoryu, whose BRILLIANCE in the ring was sometimes TARNISHED by bad behaviour off it.
(P5) No Japan-born wrestler had won a tournament since Tochiazuma exactly a decade ago, and the sport has not had a Japanese grand champion, or yokozuna, since Takanohana retired in 2003.
(P6) Kotoshogiku broke into a BEAMING smile as his win SANK IN. His parents, who were in the crowd, BURST INTO tears, and relatives and friends watching on a big screen in his HOMETOWN of Yanagawa, in south-western Japan, ERUPTED in celebration.
(P7) “It’s hard to find the words to describe how I feel,” said Kotoshogiku, who stands 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 180 kilos (28st 4oz).
(P8) “I am so delighted … I thought about the tough times when I struggled [with injury] and my record was poor, but I have come this far with the support of so many people and the GUIDANCE of my COACH.”
(P9) Traditionalists will hope that Kotoshogiku’s victory marks the beginning of a new era for sumo, whose REPUTATION has been hurt in recent years by a series of SCANDALS, including FIXING, GAMBLING, and drug taking.
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- Have you ever won a COMPETITION or a prize? What did it feel like?
- Sumo is a very Japanese sport. Are there any sports that are special to your country?
- Do you care how athletes from your country perform in international competition, or not very much?
- Who is the most famous person from the town where you grew up?
EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:
What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.
- Sink in
- Burst into