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!
The referee calls a false start between Tamawashi and Goeido after their first attempt at a tachiai, and the second time around is all Tamawashi. He holds his ground at the initial charge, then grabs Goeido by the back of the head and yanks him down to the ground. Goeido is susceptible to pulling techniques, and Tamawashi played him like a drum. The Ozeki finishes with a meh 9-6 record, and Tamawashi should be very happy with his 10-5.
After a thundering tachiai from both men sends vibrations through the dohyo, Goeido takes over and pushes Harumafuji all the way to the other side of the ring. Harumafuji gets his foot planted in the cut-out tokudawara and escapes to the side, but when he charges forward he comes in too low and Goeido slaps him down. It’s all academic as Hakuho has already clinched the championship, but Goeido earns his ninth win of the tournament, a good sign after a losing record last time out. Harumafuji, finishing the day at 11-3, will go up against fellow Yokozuna Hakuho tomorrow on the last day.
Takayasu proves his mettle against Harumafuji, recovering nicely after whiffing on an overarm throw that lets the Yokozuna get behind him. Spinning back to face Harumafuji just in time to absorb a hand to the throat, Takayasu holds his ground before slapping down hard just as Harumafuji charges. The Yokozuna tumbles off the dohyo and Takayasu remains standing. This brings to three the number of wrestlers at 11-2 (Harumafuji, Terunofuji, and Takayasu), the only men still with a chance to deny Hakuho his 38th championship.
Ura goes low at the tachiai with a step to the left, and then tries to grab onto Ikioi’s legs. But Ikioi steps back just out of reach and pushes down on Ura’s back. With nothing to hold onto, Ura falls to a record of 10-3 and out of title contention. Ikioi picks up his ninth win.
Somehow I doubt Yokozuna Hakuho bothers with watching tape of his upcoming opponents, but Tochiozan lost yesterday in almost identical fashion. Hakuho puts his left hand in Tochiozan’s face as a distraction, to block Tochiozan’s vision from the big right shoulder that follows. Tochiozan survives the blow and hangs in there until Hakuho slaps down and drives him into the clay by hatakikomi. Still perfect at 12-0 and in sole possession of the tournament lead, a win by Hakuho tomorrow will eliminate all but five wrestlers from championship contention: Yokozuna Hakuho (12-0), Yokozuna Harumafuji (11-1), Ozeki Terunofuji, Sekiwake Takayasu, and M10 Ura (all 10-2). Harumafuji’s Day 12 bout was a no-contest victory over Takanoiwa, who had to drop out due to injury.
Tochiozan wants none of what Takayasu brought today. Takayasu owns the tachiai, and a simple slap down sends Tochiozan sprawling. At 9-2, Takayasu is still in the thick of the title hunt, and one win away from probably Ozeki promotion next tournament.