He, being once almost unbeatable, started to have a problem 4-5 seasons ago. He was almost mentally sick. He damaged his elbow 4 seasons ago and decided not to participate in his next season.
His elbow damage was worse than everybody thought. It was not just one season he could not take part in. He could not have fought for next 3 seasons. Fans started to think that Asa-Sho-Ryu might not be able to fight this season, as well. Related people and the press started to talk out loud that he was thinking retiring. His condition did not look good and due to his condition, he could not train himself well, at least to his own satisfaction.
This season started January 11. It was announced Grand Champ Asa-Sho-Ryu fights. His 1st - 2nd fights were not so good. But he could manage to win. As season goes into later part, the Grand Camp started to smoothly win as was in peak condition. He was getting stronger and stronger day by day.
He continued to win until the last day. 14 continuous wins. He needed to defeat his rival "Haku-Ho (White Phoenix)" the other Grand Camp in the last day, January 25. Haku-Ho marked 13 wins in this season coming to this last day.
All Sumo fans were so excited. Regardless "Asa-Sho-Ryu" fans or "Haku-Ho" fans were looking forward to their fight. Sumo Colosseum in Tokyo were full. Asa-Sho-Ryu lost the first fight against "Haku-Ho" on the last day. Both becoming 14 wins, they fought 2nd. "Asa-Sho-Ryu" won!!! He is now Champion of New Year Season of 2009.
Being asked in the winning interview, Asa-Sho-Ryu answered that his conditions were totally IMPERFECT, but he is glad that he decided to fight.
I thought a moment what if he decided not to take action to participate because his conditions were IMPERFECT. Taking Imperfect Action paid off for Grand Camp Asa-Sho-Ryu for this season. He, infamous being poker-faced, looked very happy declaring revival of strong "Asa-Sho-Ryu".
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