Yokozuna Hakuho wins the May 2017 Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo, earning his 38th top-division championship with a perfect record of 15-0. Over the course of fifteen wins he used seven different kimarite (winning techniques): yorikiri (5), hatakikomi (2), uwatenage (2), uwatedashinage (2), yoritaoshi (2), uwatehineri, and oshidashi. Congrats to the champ!
Really, was it ever going to go any other way? Daieisho loses his seventh bout in a row against Hakuho, who picks up his seventh straight victory. A left-handed slap to the face by the Yokozuna leads to a left-handed overarm belt grip, and Hakuho wastes no time charging forward and depositing Daieisho on the other side of the tawara. Hakuho is tied for the tournament lead with 7-0 Yokozuna Harumafuji, one win ahead of the lone second-place wrestler 6-1 Sekiwake Takayasu. The three of them lead a pack of thirteen wrestlers bunched up at 5-2, including Yokozuna Kisenosato, Ozekis Goeido and Terunofuji, and M10 Ura.
Yokozuna Kisenosato continues to gut out victories, crushing Daieisho with his body weight by abisetaoshi (backward force down). Kisenosato is hanging in there with a 4-2 record, and Daieisho continues to struggle against the top of the division with a record of 0-6.
Daieisho is at his highest-ever rank of M3, and he’s experiencing the different level of competition up here in the rarefied air at the top of the division. Until this tournament, he’d never even competed against someone higher than M3, and now he’s had five days in a row of Sekiwake, Komusubi, Ozeki, and today his first match against a Yokozuna. So it’s no surprise that Harumafuji dispatches him handily, smashing head-to-head at the tachiai and securing a quick overhand left that puts Daieisho instantly into the dirt. Harumafuji stays perfect at 5-0, Daieisho drops to 0-5.
Ozeki Goeido and Daieisho go at it for the first furious seconds of the bout, slapping at each other with abandon. Daieisho blinks first, pulling down on Goeido’s head, but Goeido is nowhere near off-balance and capitalizes on the mistake. He puts a palm in Daieisho’s face and sends the lower-ranked wrestler backwards out of the ring for his fourth consecutive loss. Goeido improves to 2-2.
Ozeki Terunofuji earns his first win of the tournament on the third day against Daieisho, using a solid right-handed overarm grip to pick up his opponent before pushing hard from the left side to crumple Daieisho to the ground. Daieisho falls to 0-3.
Mitakeumi, just entering his third year in professional sumo, finds himself on the brink of the upper echelon of ranks. Currently Komusubi, a good record this tournament could see him promoted to Sekiwake, one rank below Ozeki. His performance these first two days looks promising, and today he dominates Daieisho with a solid initial charge and a quick flurry of thrusts to send Daieisho packing.