Maegashira 3 Tochinoshin wins the January 2018 Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo, his first-ever top-division championship and the first from a mid-ranked Maegashira since M7 Kyokutenho in 2012. He finished with an outstanding 14-1 record, losing only to Yokozuna Kakuryu on Day 7. Over the course of the tournament he used five different kimarite (winning techniques): yorikiri (9), tsukiotoshi (2), tsukidashi (1), tsuridashi (1), and oshidashi (1).
Goeido’s out of the running for the tournament championship, but he still needs to get eight wins. Improving to 7-6 against Okinoumi helps his cause. This is the kind of sumo he should have been doing the past few days.
Mitakeumi has now dropped five straight bouts, and his confidence has completely disappeared. He loses to the hapless 4-8 Okinoumi today, resorting to a pull-down right after the tachiai instead of using his strength on offense. Sigh.
Okinoumi’s wondering why he even got out of bed this morning. Yokozuna Kakuryu has his way with the hapless wrestler, slinging him around with a right-side belt grip and showing him the exit in short order. Winning technique is okuridashi (rear push out). Kakuryu stays perfect at 10-0, the sole leader of the tournament in front of Tochinoshin (9-1), Daieisho (8-2), and Takayasu, Mitakeumi, and Takarafuji (7-3).
Chiyonokuni is a whirlwind of activity, starting with a flurry of thrusts to Okinoumi’s face and throat, leading into a big right hand slap that gets him a right-handed overarm belt grip, following with a quick leg sweep attempt, and finishing with a fully-committed yank down on the back of Okinoumi’s head. The judges have a conference to determine if Chiyonokuni pulled Okinoumi’s hair, and decide that he in fact did not.
Nothing to see here, just Tochinoshin being a total boss. With excellent, grounded sumo like this he’s going to be hard to beat.
Good persistence by Okinoumi today against Endo. He grabs onto Endo’s left arm, mostly to defend against Endo’s underarm grip, but also threatening a kotenage (armlock throw). When Endo switches to the right-handed overarm grip, Okinoumi loses his hold on Endo’s left arm for a moment, but clamps down again when Endo regains the underarm grip on that side. Now at the ring’s edge, Okinoumi sets his hips and cranks hard on Endo’s upper arm, twisting him into the clay. Endo falls to 3-3, while Okinoumi has quietly amassed five wins against only one loss.