Competition Heats Up During July Grand Sumo Tournament

After a delay in action due to COVID-19, sumo is back in full force. July’s Grand Sumo Tournament, which was delayed due to the virus, returned on July 19 from inside Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikannow. From now until August 2, some of the top sumo stars will look to compete for glory.

Fans of up to 2,500 were able to sit and watch thanks to Japan recently ending its state of emergency. The event started with Hakuho, the winner of the March Grand Sumo Tournament, earning his first win of the tournament. The Yokozuna forced Okinoumi down after initially being in trouble due to a charge. As of today (July 21), Hakuho has won three contests. His last bout was a hard-hitting affair against maegashira Endo.

“It was definitely a curious sensation, but I’m grateful to them,” Hakuho ended up telling Kyodo News regarding the crowd’s silence.

Hakuho joins eight other men in the lead at 3-0. Asanoyama, who recently became an Ozeki, would end up beating number one Yutakayama (0-3) by taking him out of the ring. The 26-year-old started off the competition by beating number two Takanosho by using his own momentum against him. Asanoyama is looking to continue his momentum and become the next big sumo star.

Other stars ranked first at 3-0 include Mitakeumi, Tamawashi, Myogiryu, Kotonowaka, Kotoshoho, Terunofuji, Meisei. Seven stars are currently 0-3 in the tournament’s early stages.

The tournament started off by losing a key competitor. Yokozuna Kakuryu had to withdraw following day one after suffering a right elbow injury. Losing to Endo, Kakurya went for a leg sweep but fell to the clay when he missed. He is expected to miss the remainder of the tournament.

“When he fell in his match against Endo, he fell from the right side and hurt his elbow,” stablemaster Michinoku said. “He also got hurt during practice on Monday (July 13). I think he is worried about hitting it (and further aggravating the injury), so it’s best to fully recover.”

The Japan Sumo Association has been working nonstop to ensure wrestlers and fans are safe and engaging in smart social distancing practices. Here is where everyone else stands:

  • Maegashira Nishikigi (1-2)
  • Maegashira Kotoeko (2-1)
  • Maegashira Takayasu (2-1)
  • Maegashira Kotoshogiku (2-1)
  • Maegashira Sadanoumi (2-1)
  • Maegashira Tochinoshin (1-2)
  • Maegashira Kaisei (1-2)
  • Maegashira Ikioi (1-2)
  • Maegashira Chiyotairyu (2-1)
  • Maegashira Terutsuyoshi (2-1)
  • Maegashira Ishiura (1-2)
  • Maegashira Tokushoryu (1-2)
  • Maegashira Ryuden (1-2)
  • Maegashira Abi (1-2)
  • Maegashira Enho (1-2)
  • Maegashira Hokutofuji (2-1)
  • Maegashira Aoiyama (1-2)
  • Maegashira Kagayaki (2-1)
  • Maegashira Kiribayama (1-2)
  • Komusubi Daieisho (2-1)
  • Maegashira Takarafuji (1-2)
  • Sekiwake Shodai (2-1)
  • Maegashira Takanosho (1-2)
  • Ozeki Takakeisho (2-1)
  • Komusubi Okinoumi (2-1)
  • Maegashira Endo (1-2)
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