Outstanding Performance Award: Takanoiwa
Outstanding Technique Award: Sokokurai, Mitakeumi
Fighting Spirit Award: Takayasu
KISENOSATO is YOKOZUNA
On Jan 25,messengers of the Japan Sumo Association visited Kisenosato. It's not at his stable as is usual the custom but at the Imperial Hotel, because his stable has no space according to the explanation. The messenger told Kisenosato he has been promoted yokozuna. Kisenosato accepted the decision and promised to give his utmost. The 30 year old has become the first Japanese yokozuna in 19 years. The last one was Wakanohana.
Ichinojo's foot was in danger of almost touching the dirt outside the ring, but managed to stay in while he drove down Kagayaki for his 11th win. Sokokurai forced Takanoiwa to fall forward to win his 12th bout. Mitakeumi threw Chiyonokuni down for his 11th win. Takayasu made Endo fall and with this loss Endo succumbed to a majority loss. Kotoshogiku attacked Terunofuji and drove fellow ozeki out. But both ended with a terrible record. Kotoshogiku 5 to 10. Terunofuji 4 to 11. Hakuho charged against Kisenosato and shoved him, but Kisenosato shifted position and forced the yokozuna down. The 30 year old ozeki looks to have secured his promotion to yokozuna.
Sokokurai thrust down Takayasu for his 11th win. Kisenosato got hold of Ichinojo and forced the Mongolian out. Ikioi drove you Kotoshogiku. Terunofuji lost to Shuodai making both ozeki succumb to their 9th loss. Takanoiwa forced Hakuho out to the verge of the ring, The audience threw cushions in response to the result. As Hakuho lost to Takanoiwa, Kisenosato's tourney win was secured. It's the first ever tourney victory for Kisenosato.
It's announced that Goeido cannot even walk properly sustaining injury from his bout the previous day. Kisenosato who was matched against him automatically won. And with that win, keeping his lead. As to other top contenders, Ichinojo and Takanoiwa both lost. It's their 3rd loss. Takayasu tied with them by defeating Takanoiwa. Hakuho easily forced Kotoshogiku to fall and became the sole runner up. By the way Terunofuji lost to Endo. The Mongolian ozeki lost his 9th bout, the same as Kotoshogiku.
Takanoiwa beat Nishikiza, Ichinojo forced out Hokutofuji, and both of them improved their records to 10 wins. Sokokurai could not remain among them, losing his bout to Chiyoshoma. As to the title rankers, Terunofuji was thrust down by Takekaze to succumb to a majority loss. Endo forced Goeido to fall. It's the popular rikishi's 6th win. Kisenosato struggled against Ikioi but managed to drive his opponent out to remain the sole leader. Kotoshogiku was pushed out by Tamawashi falling to a majority loss and also losing his ozeki rank as it's 2 consecutive majority losses. But if he wins more than 10 bouts in the next tourney he can regain ozeki title. Hakuho force Tochiozan down to remain as runner up among 2 others.
It was announced Kakuryu was withdrawing from the tourney with injuries. So this means 2 yokozunas are absent. Kotoshogiku was given an automatic win as a result. As to the top contesters for the Emperor's Cup, Ichinojo defeated Ohsuna-arashi. Sokokuri drove out Takakeisho. Takanoiwa pushed out Chiyoshoma. They all won their 9th bout. Goeido was shoved by Ikoi but managed to throw him in the end to win. Endo attacked Kisenosato, but the ozeki got hold of his arm and threw him. Kisenosato kept the lead. Hakuho lost his grip of Terunofuji's belt, but he managed to shove the ozeki out to remain in the runner up group.
Ichinojo defeated Sadanoumi for a majority win. Takanoiwa failed against Chiyotairyu. Sokokurai drove out Ohsuna-arashi to win his 8th bout. Kisenosato shoved and shoved. Terunofuji tried to resist but in the end was forced out. Kisenosato kept his lead for the Emperor's Cup. Goeido pushed, pulled away, and threw Kotoshogiku. It's Kotoshogiku's 7th loss. Tamawashi attacked Kakuryu non-stop and drove out the yokozuna. Kakuryu took his 5th loss. Hakuho gave thrusts,pulled away, and forced Ikoio to roll on the dirt.
Takanoiwa drove down the big Aoiyama for his 8th win. Terunofuji tried to throw Arawashi but instead, Arawashi threw the ozeki. Goeido drove out Okinoumi. Kotoshogiku pushed and pushed against Kisenosato and won. It's Kisenosato's first loss. Takayasu gave thrusts after thrusts to Hakuho and pushed the yokozuna out. Ikioi charged into Kakuryu and pushed out the yokozuna. Takanoiwa and Kisenosato are tied for the Emperor's Cup.
Takekaze took Kaisei's arm and threw him. His skill was called "ippon zeoi", a technique rarely used in sumo and more common in judo. The audience reacted with surpise when the technique was announced. It's the first time in 3 years. Terunofuji stepped aside while Goeido fell which gave Terunofuji his 4th win, while the 3rd loss for Goeido. Okinoumi pushed against Kisenosato, while the ozeki pulled back and managed to shift position quickly to drive down Okinoumi. Kisenosato secured a majority win. Shohozan forced Kotoshogiku to roll down the dirt mound. Kakuryu attacked Shodai non stop and won. Arawashi got hold of Hakuho's belt quickly, went round and round then threw the yokozuna. It's Hakuho's first loss.
Goeido forced down Shodai. Kisenosato quicky drove out Tochiozan. Takayasu gave Kotoshogiku thrusts and won. Terunofuji was able to defeat Mitakeumi. Hakuho's force was so powerful, Tamawashi's foot left the ring. Ikio was given an automatic win in the bout that he was matched to face Harumafuji who withdrew due to an injury. Kakuryu gave Arawashi a throw and won his 4th bout.
Kisenosato was like a giant wall hindering Shodai from taking any action. Kisenosato drove Shodai out to keep his record clean. Kotoshogiku could not win control of the bout against Mitakeumi and is driven out. It's the ozeki's 4th loss. Terunofuji forced Tochiozan on his hand to win his 2nd bout. Goeido got hold of Shohozan's belt to force him out. Harumafuji forced a throw, which prompted Tamawashi to fall. The yokozuna also dived out of the ring, but he won. Kakuryu pulled back and was driven out by Arawashi. Hakuho banged into Mitakeumi and forced him down to win another bout.
Endo drove out Kotoyuki from behind to win his 3rd bout. Shodai powerfully drove down Tochinoshin. The Georgian had difficulty walking after the bout. Takarafuji drove down Kotoshogiku. The ozeki took his 3rd loss. Terunofuji walked out the ring on Tamawashi's attacks. Goeido charged into Arawashi and won his 3rd bout. Kisenosato was able to drive out Mitakeumi. Takayasu drove down Kakuryu who faced his 2nd loss. Hakuho was shoved at one point, but in the end Shohozan fell on his hand to the yokozuna's thrust. Harumafuji gave Okinoumi a throw to win.
Ikioi forced down Terunofuji. Goeido kept on moving forward and drove out Takarafuji. Kisenosato pulled back, then was able to drive Shohozan down. Shodai fought well against Kotoshogiku and drove out the ozeki. Hakuho was reluctant to face off immediately. Then when he did stand up to fight, he was able to drive out Tochinoshin. Harumafuji moved aggressively and forced out Arawashi. Mitakeumi pushed out Kakuryu, who succumbed to his first loss.
Osuna-arashi who has been promoted to makuuchi this tourney won his 3rd bout by forcing Chiyotairyu to lose balance. Takayasu threw Goeido. It's the ozeki's 2nd loss. Kisenosato got a good start and drove out easily Arawashi. Kotoshogiku threw Tochinoshin. Terunofuji slightly changed position which prompted Okinoumi to walk out the ring slowly. Okinoumi's knee looked bad. Harumafuji fell from the ring, out and lost to Shohozan. Kakuryu gave Takarafuji thrust then drove him out for his 3rd win. Hakuho quickly got hold of Mitaeumi's belt then forced him out the ring.
The popular Endo managed to drive out Ikioi to win his first bout. Shodai forced Arawashi out also for his first win. Kisenosato was no match against Tamawashi with a powerful thrust to win. Okinoumi slowly threw Kotoshogiku to defeat the ozeki. Takayasu forced Terunofuji on his hands. Goeido won against Tochinoshin with an overarm throw. The referee gave the bout between Kakuryu and Shohozan to Shohozan. But the juries decided against it. Hakuho drove out Takarafuji. Harumafuji pulled away as Mitakeumi charge forward by using his knee against the yokozuna. Mitakeumi won. So again many upsets on the day.
In front of super sumo fan Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, Kotoshogiku drove out Arawashi. The big Terunofuji succumbed to Shohozan's shoves and lost. Then another ozeki Goeido lost too. His opponent Mitakeumi faced off quickly getting hold of the ozeki and gave him no chance of taking control, forcing Goeido out. Kisenosato had a smooth win over Takarafuji, driving him out. Hakuho pushed, then pulled back, which forced new sekiwake Shodai to fall. Harumafuji quickly defeated Takayasu. Kakuryu threw Tochinoshin with his left, forcing the Georgian on his belly.
Pre Tourney highlight
A 23 year old pass the test to join sumo
From the newcomer test on Dec 28, 2016, those over 23 and under 25 have been accepted for the first time since the age restriction was expanded. 23 year old Taisei Yamamoto became the first to pass the test.
Shodai earns 2nd fastest promotion to sekiwake
Shodai took only 17 tourneys to reach sekiwake. It's the 2nd quickest after 1958, for a rikishi who started from the bottom.
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