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 first eight days of the tournament were a disaster for Kotoshogiku. He only earned one win against seven losses, meaning he needed to win the remaining seven days in a row to avoid a makekoshi losing record. I don’t think anyone expected him to come as close as he did, losing only once in the second half of the tournament to finish at 7-8. His opponent on the last day is the always tough Ikioi, but Kotoshogiku beats him handily, showing flashes of his former brilliance. Hopefully during the next tournament he can put together more performances like this one.
Ishiura can sleep well tonight, having earned his all-important eighth win on the final day of the tournament. Takekaze grabs Ishiura by the face to try and stop his forward charge, but Ishiura cannot be denied. Takekaze finishes with a disappointing 4-11 record.
Takakeisho looks skyward in the moments before his bout, gathering the strength he needs for the upcoming sacrifice. Nothing weird like a goat, just a sacrifice of his own body at the edge of the ring, launching into thin air, stretching out over empty space to gain the few milliseconds necessary for Onosho to step out first. That kind of dedication has led to an excellent 11-4 record for Takakeisho, and he should find himself much higher in the division next tournament. Onosho finishes his first top-division tournament with an outstanding 10-5 record.
Ozeki Goeido is now one win from safety. He needs just one more victory to prevent his impending demotion, a situation he finds himself in due to an injury-induced withdrawal and losing record last tournament. Aoiyama provides no resistance on Day 12, but Yokozuna Harumafuji looms sometime in the next three days, so Goeido would be well-advised to beat struggling M4 Takarafuji tomorrow.
Both Toyohibiki and Sokokurai have losing records already, but neither one is going to throw in the towel on the tournament. Toyohibiki comes out hard with a slamming tachiai, and follows up with a strong left arm to the throat that Sokokurai is completely unable to handle. The general strategy seeming to be, “I’m going to push your head out of the ring. It’s up to you if your body follows.”
Kotoyuki leans in hard at the tachiai and hits Ikioi with a stiff hand to the throat. But Ikioi deflects Kotoyuki’s arms sideways, and follows with a quick charge before Kotoyuki can recover. Ikioi’s pumped at earning his eighth win, while Kotoyuki falls to 4-7.