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!
Tochiozan has really underperformed this tournament. From the M4 rank, I expected him to easily earn a winning record. But he earns his ninth loss against a motivated Yoshikaze, who does well to fight through Tochiozan’s defenses and wrap up his waist at the edge. Yoshikaze earns his kachikoshi, finishing the day at 8-6.
Ozeki Terunofuji handles Tochiozan fairly easily, switching from a left-handed overarm grip to a left-side armlock that rolls Tochiozan to the clay. Tochiozan falls to his eighth loss, while Terunofuji still has slim hope of a tournament championship, needing to beat Yokozuna Hakuho tomorrow to have a chance.
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.
Another day, another dollar, another win closer to a ninth top-division championship for Yokozuna Harumafuji. Technically, another day closer to a showdown with Yokozuna Hakuho in what will likely be the deciding bout of the tournament. I’m sure he’s not thinking ahead, but Harumafuji wades through Tochiozan like he’s not even there.
Nothing fancy today, just Tochiozan getting both arms underneath Yokozuna Kisenosato’s right off the bat. Kisenosato can’t prevent Tochiozan from getting low and backing him up to the edge. If Kisenosato wants to compensate for his weak left side, he can’t let his opponent get both arms inside like that. Kise’s still doing ok at 6-3, while Tochiozan picks up another kinboshi (gold star victory over a Yokozuna from M1 or lower) and improves to 5-4.