There’s the ol’ Yoshikaze I feel like we’ve been missing this tournament. Got some oomph in his britches. And speaking of britches, he almost de-pants Chiyonokuni at the end, grabbing the knot on the back of Chiyonokuni’s mawashi and unraveling it as he pulls him to the ground. Unintentional, surely, but risky just the same.
Yoshikaze’s not finding much luck with his new bright purple mawashi, falling to 2-3 against a fierce Daieisho. Things look good for Yoshikaze for the first 95% of the bout, as he survives the initial mutual bludgeoning and appears to set himself up for the watashikomi (thigh-grabbing push down), but Daieisho hangs on just long enough for Yoshikaze to touch the ground first. Daieisho wins for the third time in five days.
Yoshikaze fights through the nodowa (throat push) of Hokutofuji, keeping his feet moving forward until he has Hokutofuji wrapped up at the edge of the ring and time stops for a brief moment, Hokutofuji’s inevitable collapse a palpable thing in the air, suddenly made real in a crumpled heap of two wrestlers.
Abi and Yoshikaze are alike in that they only have one speed. But today it’s Abi who comes out on top, with a strong pushing attack that leaves the purple-belted Yoshikaze on the wrong side of the tawara.
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).
Ikioi drops Yoshikaze with a nice kotenage (arm lock throw) on the last day. Both men finish the tournament a disappointing 4-11, and will meet again next tournament down in the lower end of the top division.
It’s like these two are not even the same species. From entirely different planets, even. The strength differential is enormous. Ichinojo decides it’s over, and Yoshikaze has absolutely no say in the matter. Wow. Yoshikaze picks up his second straight make-koshi at 4-8, despite upsetting two Yokozuna earlier in the tournament. Ichinojo earns his kachi-koshi at 8-4.