Outstanding Performance Award: Kakuryu
Outstanding Technique Award: Kakuryu,Toyonoshima
Fighting Spirit Award: Goeido
Kakuryu is ozeki
It's official. On Mar 27, messengers of the Japan Sumo Association visited Kakuryu's stable in Osaka and reported to him that he has been promoted to ozeki. Kakuryu accepted the new post. He will be among 6 ozeki to fight in the May tourney.
Goeido gave Kakuryu thrusts and drove the next ozeki out the ring. Kakuryu faced his 2nd loss and at this point tying with Hakuho. Kisenosato and Kotoshogiku was cautious to start. When they finally faced off, Kotoshogiku had a strong start and pushed Kisenosato down the ring. Harumafuji shoved Koto-o-shu then threw the Bulgarian with his left to win his 11th bout. Hakuho and Baruto took a while to face off. Hakuho was able to drive the Estonian out to proceed to a play off against Kakuryu. In the playoff, Hakuho got a hold of Kakuryu and shoved. Kakuryu withstood on the verge of the ring. But in the end, Hakuho threw Kakuryu to clinch the grand tourney for the 22nd time.
Miyabiyama pushed out Czech Takanoyama to clinch a majority win. Baruto tried to keep hold of Kisenosato's belt but lost it twice and was driven out. It's his 4th loss. It's Kisenosato's 9th win. Kotoshogiku and Aran both tried to get a better hold of eachother's belt. Then Aran successfully got hold of the front part and forced the ozeki out for his 9th win. Kakuryu kept his head low against Koto-o-shu and threw the tall Bulgarian to clinch his 13th win. With this victory, it's believed Kakuryu has also clinched his promotion to ozeki. Hakuho was in control and drove Harumafuji down for his 12th win.
Baruto this time shoved hard to powerfully drive out Harumafuji. Both are 10-3. Kakuryu drove Kotoshogiku down from the side to win his 12th bout. Koto-o-shu got hold of Aran's belt and shoved him out the ring. Both fell into the audience. Hakuho lost balance to Kisenosato's push on his shoulder. With that the yokozuna was pushed out. Kakuryu is now the sole leader.
Kakuryu got a hold of Shotenro's belt with both his hands and drove him out for his 11th win. Kotoshogiku charged into Baruto, shoved and shoved to win. It's Baruto's 3rd loss and he lost his chance for promotion to yokozuna. Kisenosato pushed Toyonoshima out. Harumafuji shoved then dived into Tochiozan, shoved some more to win his 10th bout. Hakuho threw Koto-o-shu with his right to lead for the Emperor's Cup together with Kakuryu.
Some of the popular rikishi who clinched a majority win on this day are Goeido who defeated Kitataiki and Toyonoshima who threw Takayasu in a close bout. Kakuryu struggled against Miyogiryu but managed to shift slightly to drive him down on the ring. Kisenosato and Harumafuji tried to throw eachother. Both withstood. Then immediately the Mongolian hurled Kisenosato down. The two of the tallest men faced eachother. Koto-o-shu immediately grabbed the front part of Baruto's belt then kept his head low against the Estonian. Then the Bulgarian pushed forward and drove Baruto down. Baruto is now a win behind the leaders including Hakuho who beat Kotoshogiku.
Kakuryu took time but managed to drive Tochinowaka out the ring. Toyonoshima forced Koto-o-shu to lose balance and drove the Bulgarian down. It's Toyonoshima's 7th win. Kisenosato pushed Myogiryu out the ring. After the bout his nose was dripping with blood. Baruto threw Tochiozan to win. Kotoshogiku immediately fell on his hand in the bout against Harumafuji. Harumafuji clinched a majority win. Hakuho stopped twice and took a look at Aminishiki, then threw him for his 9th win.
Aran and Harumafuji temporarily stopped to observe eachother. Then Harumafuji charged into the Russian and drove him out. Baruto got hold of Toyonoshima's belt and forced him out for a majority win. Kotoshogiku quickly banged into Tochinowaka then with a hold of his body shoved and shoved to win his 7th bout. Kisenosato and Koto-o-shu took time to face off. When they did, Koto-o-shu quickly got hold of the younger ozeki and drove him out for his 6th win. Kakuryu faced Hakuho. Kakuryu was in control with a hold of the yokozuna's belt while the yokozuna was unable to get a good hold. In the end, Kakuryu drove Hakuho out. They are tied for the Emperor's Cup along with Baruto.
Takayasu got hold of Miyabiyama's loose belt and forced him down for his 5th win. Harumafuji attacked Kyokutenho's throat and pushed him out. Baruto with his long arm shoved Tokitenku to easily win with a push out. Kotoshogiku shoved and shoved then threw Gagamaru to win. Koto-o-shu went forward with thrusts against Aminishiki but lost balance and went down the ring into the audience. Kisenosato was in control of the bout and forced Kakuryu out. It's Kakuryu's first loss. Hakuho drove Tochinoshin out to become the only one with a perfect record.
New makuuchi rikishi Ikioi received Miyabiyama's thrusts but he attacked back and pushed out the former ozeki. Aminishiki shifted position when he stood to fight. But Baruto was unaffected. The Estonian shoved him out. Kotoshogiku lost to Toyonoshima's throw. Koto-o-shu had a strong start but he was unable to control the bout as Yoshikaze pulled away the thrust the Bulgarian down. Kisenosato gave thrusts and pushed out Tochinoshin. It's the young ozeki's 4th win. Kakuryu and Harumafuji fought a active bout in which Kakuryu managed to drive fellow Mongolian out. Kakuryu improved his record to 7 wins. Hakuho won by throwing Kyokutenho also by adding another win.
Tochiozan attacked Kakuryu and shoved him towards the edge of the ring. Kakuryu shifted position and forced Tochiozan down to keep his record clean. Myogiryu had a better start, but Kotoshogiku managed to push him down. Koto-o-shu threw Gagagamaru down. Kisenosato slapped and punched which forced Aminishiki to step out the ring. Harumafuji and Tochinoshin fought a bout exceeding one minute which ended with the Mongolian's throw. Baruto got hold of Kyokutenho's belt, swung him and put him down. Hakuho was shoved by Yoshikaze but managed to regain balance and won with a throw.
Kakuryu drove out Aminishiki out the ring for his 5th win. Koto-o-shu got hold of another tall man, Tochinoshin's belt, shoved and shoved to win. Tokitenku gave Kisenosato thrusts and with that the ozeki fell on the ring. Yoshikaze went charging into Harumafuji. Harumafuji then tried to push but was instead driven down. It's the Mongolian ozeki's first loss. Baruto pushed against Tochinowaka and quickly drove him out. Kotoshogiku tried to grab Tochiozan, then changed positions and kept on fighting aggressively with the bout ending with the ozeki forcing Tochiozan out. Hakuho with his left forced Gagamaru down on his back.
Gagamaru pushed first. But Kisenosato shoved back and he continued to push to win his 2nd bout. Harumafuji attacked Tochiowaka's throat and shoved him forward to win. Kakuryu attacked Baruto aggressively. At one point, the two separated. Then Kakuryu went into the gigantic Estonian, and shoved him down. It's Baruto's first loss, while Kakuryu won his 4th bout. Kotoshogiku drove Kyokutenho out. Koto-o-shu shoved and shoved and while falling drove Miyogiryu out. Hakuho powerfully threw Tokitenku.
Harumafuji pushed out another Mongolian Tokitenku to win again. Baruto gave a powerful shove to drive Miyogiryu out. Aminishiki pulled back and with that Kotoshogiku lost balance and fell, losing his first bout. Koto-oshu lost too to Tochiozan's thrust. Kisenosato gave thrusts and drove Yoshikaze down for his first win. Hakuho charged into Tochinowaka who could not do anything. The yokozuna threw him on the ring.
Miyabiyama attacked Tenkaiho to earn his 2nd win. Baruto lifted Yoshikaze and carried him out. Koto-o-shu quietly droved Tokitenku out the ring. Kisenosato lost again. This time to Tochiozan. Harumafuji attacked Gagamaru's throat then slapped him and drove the Georgian down on his belly. Hakuho pushed down Myogiryu.
It's the first tourney in Osaka in 2 years. Kitanoumi returned as chairman of the Japan Sumo Association and greeted the sell out crowd. Here's a highlight of some of the bouts. Tochinoshin and Aminishiki redid their bout. As a result, Aminishiki won by throwing the Georgian. Kotoshogiku grabbed Yoshikaze with his left then shoved and shoved to win. Koto-o-shu got hold of Tokitenku's belt from behind and forced the Mongolian out. Kisenosato gave uneffective thrusts then pulled back and lost to Tochinowaka. Myorigyu charged forward. But Harumafuji caught him then threw to win. Baruto with his right threw the heavy Gagamaru. Tochiozan attacked Hakuho, but the yokozuna managed to drive him down.
Pre Tourney highlight
Former Kushimaumi collapses and dies
46 year old Tagonoura Stable master suddenly threw up blood on Feb 13. He was rushed into the hospital but his death was confirmed shortly. He rose to stardom before entering the professional world as Keita Kushima. He won the title of amateur yokozuna as a high school student 3 times. He was expected to reach high ranks as a professional but stopped at maegashira. He had 8 rikishi practiced under him.