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Nisha Rathode

Gagamaru Masaru

Current rank  see below
Gold Stars  1 (Harumafuji)
Height  1.88 m
Debut  November 2005
Name  Gagamaru Masaru
Weight  212 kg
Role  Sumo Wrestler
Martial art  Sumo

Gagamaru Masaru httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Born  Teimuraz Jugheli February 23, 1987 (age 28) Tbilisi, Georgia (1987-02-23)
Championships  1 (Juryo) 1 (Makushita) 1 (Jonokuchi)
Stables  Kise stable (since 2012), Yamahibiki stable (2010–2012), Kise stable (2005–2010)
Similar People  Tochinoshin Tsuyoshi, Kaisei Ichiro, Tamawashi Ichiro, Toyonoshima Daiki, Tochiozan Yuichiro

Highest rank  Komusubi (March, 2012)
Special Prizes  Fighting Spirit (2)
Makuuchi rank  Maegashira (since 2012)

Gagamaru Masaru (born 23 February 1987 as Teimuraz Jugheli, Georgian: თეიმურაზ ჯუღელი) is a professional sumo wrestler from Georgia. The third Georgian national after Kokkai and Tochinoshin to make the top makuuchi division, he made his professional debut in November 2005, reaching the jūryō division in November 2009 and makuuchi in July 2010. Originally from Kise stable, he briefly competed for the Kitanoumi stable before moving back to the Kise stable after it was re-established. His highest rank has been komusubi. He has won two special prizes for Fighting Spirit and has been runner-up in one tournament.

Gagamaru Masaru Gagamaru Masaru Wikipedia

Early life and sumo background

Gagamaru Masaru httpsiytimgcomviU4iDHNfvENwmaxresdefaultjpg

Jugheli was born in Tbilisi, he originally trained in judo and sambo, winning national junior championships in both sports by the age of 16. Invited to train by the Georgian junior sumo team, he accompanied them to the 2005 World Junior Sumo Championships in Osaka. (Also on the team was the future Tochinoshin). He came third in the individual and second in the team competition. Staying in Japan after the tournament, he joined Kise stable and made his first professional appearance in November 2005.

Career

He moved quickly through the lower divisions, reaching makushita one year later in November 2006. He had made plans to return home to visit his family, but his father was killed in a car accident. He was determined to honour his father's memory (and emulate his fellow Georgian wrestlers) by reaching sekitori status. This he achieved in September 2009 after winning the makushita division yūshō with a perfect 7-0 record. He paid tribute to his father at a press conference.

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Gagamaru came through with a kachi-koshi 8-7 score in his debut jūryō tournament and won the yusho in the following tournament in January 2010 with a 12-3 record. In May he scored 10-5 from the jūryō 1 rank, ensuring promotion to makuuchi. However he made his debut in the top division in July out of a newly enlarged Kitanoumi stable after his old stable was closed due to his stablemaster's Kise Oyakata involvement in a scandal involving selling tournament tickets to alleged yakuza members. Ranked at maegashira 12 he could only manage a 5-10 record, losing his last four bouts, but he remained in the division for the following tournament in September 2010 and produced a winning score of 10-5. In the November tournament in Kyushu he recovered from a 1-5 start to score 9-6, which earned him promotion to a new high of maegashira 6.

The January 2011 tournament was not a good one for Gagamaru. Having struggled to a 2-4 record after six days he went out drinking with fellow Georgian wrestler Kokkai and the pair allegedly got into a fight at an Indian restaurant in Tokyo's Sumida ward, causing damage to the property. Both were reprimanded by the Sumo Association for staying out late during a tournament. Gagamaru finished with a poor 5-10 record, resulting in demotion to maegashira 14. In the May Technical Examination Tournament he recovered from 4-7 down to win four in a row and get a winning record. In September 2011 after an opening day loss he then won ten in a row, including an emphatic victory over Baruto in his first ever meeting with an ōzeki. He finished on 11-4 and was awarded his first special prize, for Fighting Spirit. He was promoted to maegashira 3 for the November 2011 tournament, but facing all the top wrestlers for the first time could only win two matches. However he turned things around in the January 2012 tournament, producing his best score to date of 12-3, sharing runner-up honours with yokozuna Hakuhō and two wins behind tournament winner Baruto. He received his second Fighting Spirit prize for this performance. For the March tournament Gagamaru was promoted to komusubi, becoming the first member of Kitanoumi stable to reach the san'yaku ranks since it was established in 1985. He lost his first six matches, but performed better in the second week of the tournament, finishing with a respectable 6–9. As of the May 2012 tournament he once again represented Kise stable after it was permitted to re–open. Ranked at maegashira 2 in May he did defeat ōzeki Harumafuji but otherwise had an unremarkable tournament, finishing on 5–10.

The shikona Gagamaru was derived by the Kise stablemaster, the former Higonoumi, from Jugheli's nickname "Gaga". Since then he has, inevitably, been dubbed "Lady Gaga Maru." Speaking to reporters after the 9th day of the September 2011 tournament, he quipped, "Let me tell you I was called Gaga since the time I was born. The real Gaga is me." Since this time, he has only had one breakout performance, an 11-4 record at maegashira 11 in May 2013. Though he was a fixture in the mid to lower top division ranks for a while, he was relegated to the second division after three losing records in 2014.

Gagamaru returned to the top division at the March 2015 tournament with excellent results. At the following tournament in May he won the first gold star of his career by beating yokozuna Harumafuji on the 10th day. He slipped back into the second division after a run of poor performances in early 2016 but was immediately promoted back to the top ranks after a winning record in July.

Fighting style

Gagamaru is an oshi-sumo specialist who mainly employs pushing and thrusting techniques. His most common winning kimarite is oshi-dashi or push out. He is currently the heaviest man in the top division at around 200 kg.

References

Gagamaru Masaru Wikipedia


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