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.
Takakeisho’s been involved in several bouts this tournament that have taxed his abilities and really stretched him as a wrestler. Today against Yoshikaze he’s fighting for his rank, because one more loss means a demotion in March. So the desperation in his grunts is real as he struggles to first push Yoshikaze out with those rhythmic head butts, and then struggles to stay in at the ring’s edge when Yoshikaze turns the tide. Yoshikaze pulls down hard on Takakeisho, following up with the bout’s first real attempt at a belt grab. But Takakeisho defends splendidly, grabbing onto Yoshikaze’s left arm and using an arm lock to swing Yoshikaze all the way to the edge where he finishes him off with a left hand to the throat. Both men finish the day at 4-7.
Kotoshogiku is slowly working his way back to a winning record, but he needs all his energy to come back from the edge of the ring against Yoshikaze. Yoshikaze has a great tachiai and backs up Kotoshogiku to the straw, where Kotoshogiku digs deep and uses a right-side arm lock to send the action back the other way. Now at the far edge ‘Giku doesn’t let up, using his patented belly bumps to finish the job. Yoshikaze falls to 3-6, Kotoshogiku improves to 4-5.
Tochinoshin gets back on track after his loss yesterday against Kakuryu with a dismantling of Yoshikaze, who can barely mount any kind of resistance. Tochinoshin has another tough bout tomorrow against Mitakeumi, and Yoshikaze will try to dig himself out of his 3-5 hole against Kotoshogiku.
Mitakeumi sets up Yoshikaze perfectly at the edge, pushing hard before yanking back and stepping out of the way. Mitakeumi stays perfect at 7-0, tied for the tournament lead, while Yoshikaze falls to 3-4.