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Summer Grand Sumo Tournament

Bulgarian born Kaloyan Stefanov Mahlyanov now known internationally as Kotoōshū Katsunori, was named winner of the Prestigious Emperor's Cup at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament held on 24 May 2008. He is the first European to have won this tournament.

Katsunori is ranked as ōzeki or 'champion', which in sumo wrestling is the second-highest level behind yokozuna. The 25-year old defeated Mongolian, Ama bringing his total score to a record 13-1, giving him enough points to win the Championship with one bout to spare.

A proud Kotoōshū told Japan's NHK television, "I'm so happy, I'm speechless. I did it at last." Kotoōshū is the seventh non Japanese national to win this prestigious title and he is likely to achieve sumo’s highest rank known as yokozuna, providing he wins July’s major tournament to be held in Nagoya. Handsome Kotoōshū is a popular personality with the Japanese public and has been dubbed the "David Beckham of Sumo".

Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov sent a message to Kotoōshū to congratulate him on his achievement, saying that the cup was not only a great personal achievement, but one that emphasized a positive image for Bulgarian sport. He went on to wish Kotoōshū future success as well as the rank of yokozuna.

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