Kisenosato, who began the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament with hopes of promotion to yokozuna, earned a big win on Saturday, when he wrestled down yokozuna Hakuho on the penultimate day of the tournament at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium.
A day after wrapping up his 26th career title, Hakuho saw his 43-match winning streak come to a halt at the hands of Kisenosato, who entered the match with an 8-31 record against the Mongolian grand champion.
After some preliminary gamesmanship from both men prior to the tachiai, Kisenosato got the better of the opening collision. But when the ozeki was off balance and vulnerable, Hakuho was unable to apply the coup de grace. The yokozuna tried again to throw his opponent, but simply lacked the strength. When that failed, Kisenosato charged into the off-balance Hakuho and carried him out.
A championship in Nagoya would have sealed promotion to the sport’s highest rank for Kisenosato, but three losses to lower-ranked opponents in the first week of the tournament have all but put promotion out of the question.
In the day’s final bout, yokozuna Harumafuji stayed in the hunt for a 10th win for the tournament by defeating Kotoshogiku with an overarm throw at mid-ring. The ozeki fell to 8-6.
Kotooshu led the ozeki contingent into the ring and suffered an unfortunate fifth defeat at the hands komusubi Shohozan (6-8). The Bulgarian ozeki threw his opponent down at the ring’s edge, but was himself carried out by the komusubi’s momentum. Kotooshu was judged to have touched down first despite video replays to the contrary.
Kakuryu joined Kotooshu on 9-5 by defeating sixth-ranked maegashira Okinoumi (9-5). Despite a fruitless tachiai, the ozeki saved the day by executing a nifty armlock throw.
Sekiwake Myogiru’s hopes for a majority eighth victory were put on hold when he was forced out by No. 5 maegashira Ikioi, who secured his own eighth win. Myogiryu (7-7) literally went for the throat, but was unable to carry the day against his larger opponent.
Goeido, a sekiwake whose chances for eight victories were slim after he lost seven of his first nine bouts, won his fifth straight to even his record at 7-7 with a win over Aoiyama (10-4). The Bulgarian No. 9 maegashira came on in an energetic but sloppy charge and was eventually tipped over.
Russian No. 10 maegashira earned his kachikoshi eighth win by slapping down No. 14 maegashira Tamaasuka, while Brazilian No. 12 maegashira (10-4) failed to improve on his strong tournament when he was pulled down by second-ranked maegashira Tochiozan, who improved to 9-5.
Meanwhile, the Japan Sumo Association decided that former ozeki Baruto, who pulled out of the tournament on the first day due to a knee injury, will fight his next bouts in the second-tier juryo division.
Harumafuji burst Hakuho’s bubble and claimed yokozuna bragging rights with a surprisingly easy win on the final day of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament on Sunday.
Hakuho, who secured his 26th Emperor’s Cup with two days to spare, saw his 43-match unbeaten streak ended by Kisenosato on Saturday and was unable to bounce back to finish the 15-day meet on a triumphant note.
Hakuho (13-2) suffered an injury to his abdomen on Thursday, and looked a pale shadow of the wrestler who, for the most part, cruised through his first 13 matches as Harumafuji comfortably barged him out to finish 10-5.
“I got better as the tournament progressed and although I got injured I am happy I won the championship,” said Hakuho, who won his first Nagoya title in three years.
“I was a bit worried I wouldn’t win the Nagoya title again when I got injured, but I went to the hospital and there were no broken bones so I just tried to get on with the job.”
In the two matchups between ozeki wrestlers, Kakuryu (10-5) tipped Kotooshu (9-6) with an overarm throw and Kotoshogiku (9-6) outmuscled Kisenosato (11-4), who started the tournament with hopes of promotion to yokozuna but had his quest quashed with three early losses.
Brazilian No. 12 maegashira Kaisei can expect a big move up the rankings for the autumn meet after finishing 11-4.
Top-ranked maegashira Takayasu, who sent Harumafuji to his first defeat of the tournament and also upset two ozeki, won his first Outstanding Performance Prize. He closed with a 9-6 mark after forcing out third-ranked Chiyotairyu (7-8).
“I’m glad my efforts have been recognized,” said Takayasu.
Makuuchi debutant Tokushoryu (9-6) missed out on double-digit wins that would have earned him the Fighting Spirit Prize. No Technique Prize was awarded.