July 2016, Day 10, Hakuho v Tochinoshin

Tochinoshin has wrestled against Hakuho 23 times, and lost 23 times. The pattern remains unbroken today even against a Hakuho who doesn’t look fully fit. His tachiai is tentative, and Tochinoshin manages to throw him around the ring and even lift him off the ground. But Hakuho stays busy with a variety of attacks, with one final overhand throw attempt that causes Tochinoshin to lose his belt grip and stand defenseless at the edge. Huge expenditure of energy by the Yokozuna, with his remaining five bouts all tough ones – Sekiwake Kaisei, all three Ozeki, and Yokozuna Harumafuji. But the biggest news is that the tournament championship is completely up for grabs. The five leaders all have two losses: Hakuho, Harumafuji, Kisenosato, Takayasu, and Takarafuji (who’s been quietly assembling a great tournament). And there are six more wrestlers right behind at three losses. It’s going to be an interesting final five days.

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