Goeido puts on a sumo clinic today, cruising to a win over Tochiozan. He keeps his shoulders square to his opponent the entire bout, hips and feet making a conduit to the clay and anchoring some solid pushing. When it’s time to drive forward, he moves relentlessly without getting overextended and losing his balance. Really fine stuff. Goeido keeps hold of the tournament lead at 9-1, but there’s a host of contenders one or two (or even three!) losses back.
Tochiozan jumps sideways at the tachiai, knowing that Kotoshogiku always charges ahead full-steam. This is a sneaky maneuver called a henka, and it’s generally frowned upon when used too often, but Tochiozan knows his opponent and figures he can get the easy win. Kotoshogiku goes sailing by, but somehow manages to stop his forward momentum and turn on a dime. Tochiozan is too slow, he should have followed right behind Kotoshogiku to push him out, and he looks completely unprepared when ‘Giku spins to face him. Now Kotoshogiku has some motivation, some fire in his belly, and he charges into Tochiozan taking him to the edge of the ring. But Tochiozan is a wily veteran, and plants his feet, using a left-side sukuinage (beltless arm throw) with perfect timing to toss Kotoshogiku out of the ring. ‘Giku’s slide continues as he drops his fourth bout in a row after winning the first four days. Tochiozan’s barely hanging in there at 2-6.
Chiyotairyu has been yo-yoing up and down the top two divisions for the past four years or so, and every time he gets near the top it seems an injury sends him back down. He even has a couple of kinboshi wins over Yokozunas on his record. Now that he’s back up at M3, fingers crossed he can stay healthy and perform up to his potential. Clearly he belongs, as today’s dominating performance over veteran Komusubi Tochiozan shows. Chiyotairyu has a great tachiai, standing up Tochiozan and sending him backpedaling. Two hands to the throat almost seal the deal, but Tochiozan manages to deflect Chiyotairyu to the side. Chiyotairyu does a nice job keeping his feet under him at least long enough for one last leaping push that launches Tochiozan off the dohyo. Chiyotairyu improves to 3-0, Tochiozan falls to 0-3.
Shohozan has a huge welt on his left eye from yesterday’s battle with Tamawashi. But that doesn’t stop him from leading with his head and using his face as a weapon, charging forward and taking the fight to Tochiozan until Tochiozan’s on the wrong side of the straw.
With 3/4 of the Yokozuna contingent (Hakuho, Kisenosato, and Kakuryu) out of the September Tournament with injury, it’s up to Yokozuna Harumafuji to maintain the honor of the rank with a good performance. It also means that the chances of a rank-and-filer winning the championship are greatly increased. But Harumafuji starts off strong against Tochiozan, locking up a deep overarm belt grip with the left hand, and stymieing any attempts by Tochiozan to get a belt grip of his own with either hand. Harumafuji lets Tochiozan struggle for a few moments before pulling hard and toppling him with an overarm throw (uwatenage) from the left side.
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!