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!
Mitakeumi hits Endo at the tachiai with a focus on Endo’s left arm, which he uses to maneuver Endo around and push him to the edge of the ring. But Endo finds the tawara with his right foot and pushes back, working steadily forward until Mitakeumi pulls down on his head, and then you’ll never guess what happens: Endo doesn’t move his feet forward, falling down in slow motion. Oh, wait, you probably actually guessed that without any trouble because ENDO DOESN’T EVER MOVE HIS DANG FEET. Endo falls to a losing record of 5-8, while Mitakeumi has a good shot at a winning record, heading into the last two days with a record of 7-6.
The old guard meets the new generation, and this time it’s youth and vigor that overcome experience and guile. After a crushing, head-smashing tachiai, Mitakeumi manhandles Kotoshogiku around with a strong right-handed overarm grip. When Kotoshogiku fights back, Mitakeumi uses an outside leg hook (a move we’ve seen from him previously in this tournament) to keep from getting reversed, and quickly has the ex-Ozeki over the edge. Solid stuff from the youngster, who sends Kotoshogiku to a disappointing eighth loss. Mitakeumi holds on to hope of a winning record, finishing the day at 6-6.
It’s feast or famine for Mitakeumi, earning his second straight win after a bad stretch of six consecutive losses. Yokozuna Harumafuji has been complaining of a toe injury for the past few days, but Mitakeumi doesn’t cut him any slack. After a solid tachiai that stops Harumafuji in his tracks, Mitakeumi unbalances the Yokozuna with a slick outside leg hook on the right side. Harumafuji loses his left-handed overarm grip, and then misses the tawara with his left foot, stepping out under the force of Mitakeumi’s pressure. Mitakeumi improves to 5-6, looking forward to an easier schedule over the last four days (not counting Kotoshogiku tomorrow) now that his bouts against the Yokozuna and Ozeki are finished. Harumafuji loses for the first time this tournament, dropping to 10-1 right behind 11-0 Hakuho, and one win ahead of 9-2 Terunofuji, Takayasu, Tochinoshin, and Ura. Yokozuna Kisenosato has dropped out of the tournament due to his chest injury, with a final record of 6-4. Hopefully he takes the proper time to recover fully before July.
Mitakeumi finally stops a slide of six straight losses, dominating Chiyonokuni with a determined defense that negates Chiyonokuni’s attacks, and finishing confidently without overextending himself. Mitakeumi has one more tough test against Yokozuna Harumafuji tomorrow, and then his schedule should ease up a bit for the last few days of the tournament. Currently at 4-6, he’s in danger of a losing record and demotion from the rank of Komusubi.
Set ’em up to knock ’em down. Yoshikaze catches Mitakeumi off-guard, suddenly pulling down hard after some strong pushing. Mitakeumi falls to 3-6, and Yoshikaze improves to 5-4.
Ozeki Terunofuji stays in the title hunt, using his height well against Mitakeumi with the double-arm bar. The pressure on Mitakeumi’s upper arms is immense as Terunofuji lifts him completely off the ground, setting him down on the tawara and shoving him off the dohyo by kimedashi (arm barring force out).