Yokozuna Kakuryu wins the March 2018 Grand Sumo Tournament in Osaka, his fourth top-division championship and his first since November 2016. He finished with an excellent 13-2 record, losing only to defending champ Tochinoshin and Ozeki Takayasu. Over the course of the tournament he used four different kimarite (winning techniques): hatakikomi (6), yorikiri (3), oshidashi (3), and tsukiotoshi (1).
Tamawashi gets handled today like he handled Endo yesterday. Straight out of the ring, no fuss, no muss. Chiyotairyu should have brought this kind of energy to his bouts before today – he’s already 2-8.
Big right hand on the belt? Check.
Opponent who isn’t paying attention and blindly charging forward? Check.
Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Endo gets blown up by a great tachiai from Chiyotairyu, and only the slight belt grip with his right hand keeps him from going out. Then suddenly the momentum reverses, and Endo turns on the jets to blast out Chiyotairyu with some sharp shoving. Endo evens up his record at 4-4, and Chiyotairyu falls to 1-7.
Mitakeumi barely squeaks out this win, getting driven back by Chiyotairyu before changing directions and moving Chiyotairyu to the edge. With Chiyotairyu’s heels on the straw bales, Mitakeumi stretches out with what appears to be a single toe keeping him inbounds. The mighty toe pushes against the straw with enough pressure to knock out Chiyotairyu before Mitakeumi plops to the clay. Mitakeumi improves to 5-2, Chiyotairyu falls to 1-6.
Crowd-favorite Kotoshogiku notches his first win of the tournament with a rare (for him) sukuinage (beltless arm throw).
With Harmafuji’s forced retirement (what!!?), Hakuho’s re-aggravated toe injury (aw, man…) and Kisenosato’s stubborn left chest injury (seriously?), Kakuryu is the lone Yokozuna in the Osaka Tournament this March. He had a great run to start the January Tournament before falling apart in the last five days and falling out of contention. Today he has no trouble (nor should he, to continue the parenthetical commentary) with Chiyotairyu, showing a Tochinoshin-like efficiency of movement to get the quick yorikiri win.