Sumo wrestler advances with new tournament titles

Sekiwake Tamawashi became the second oldest wrestler in sumo’s current format to secure his maiden championship, winning the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Sunday, the tourney’s 15th and final day.

 

The Mongolian wrapped up his triumph with his 13th victory, beating No. 9 maegashira Endo (10-5) for the 10th time in 16th career bouts. Tamawashi entered the day with a one-win lead over Takakeisho, who had won his maiden championship in November.

Photo credit to: https://www.japantimes.co.jp

Kyokutenho is the oldest wrestler to win the championship since sumo went to six grand tournaments in 1958. He secured his lone title as a No. 7 maegashira in May 2012 as a 37-year-old. With the title in his hands, Tamawashi sat by ringside, where we continually wiped at his eyes while the final bouts were fought out.

 

With his second championship foiled, Takakeisho (11-4) faced Ozeki Goeido (9-6) in the tournament’s final bout. He was thrown off the ring quickly and executed by the Ozeki’s charge in 1.9 seconds.

 

Although Takakeisho met one standard for ozeki promotion, his poor performance on the final day and his 9-6 record in September have put his promotion on hold.

 

Komusubi Mitakeumi earned a “shukun-sho” Outstanding Performance prize for having defeated all three yokozuna in the tournament. He finished with an 8-4-3 record. It was the first time since the “sansho” three-prize system was established in 1947 that a wrestler who missed bouts due to injury received one of the awards.

 

Although he limped visibly except in the ring, the komusubi handed yokozuna Hakuho his first loss of the tournament on Day 11, opening the door for Tamawashi and Takakeisho to battle for the championship.

 

Tamawashi won a “kanto-sho” Fighting Spirit prize and an outstanding performance prize for the victory, while Takakeisho was awarded a “gino-sho” Technique prize. Ozeki Takayasu finished the tournament with a 9-6 record by forcing out Brazilian No. 8 maegashira Kaisei (10-5).

 

Reference: Sumo: 34-year-old Tamawashi breaks through with New Year tourney title

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