Goeido Wins His First Emperor’s Cup

Ozeki Goeido managed to defeat sixth-ranked maegashira Tamawashi on Sept. 24 to keep his perfect record and clinch his first Emperor’s Cup title at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.

With his mother watching up front in the audience, Goeido managed to perform a yorikiri on Tamawashi, throwing him out of the ring. With tears in his eyes, Goeido celebrated his victorious performance.

"I just focused on wrestling as hard as I could," said Goeido, who had been in sole possession of the lead since the seventh day. "I’m really happy. There was a time when things didn’t go my way, but I’m glad I stuck it out. I concentrated on my performance and took it one bout at a time, which led to this result. I really can’t think about (promotion to yokozuna) right now. I want to soak up the moment for a little bit."

Goeido needed to finish with a winning record in this tournament otherwise he would have been demoted from ozeki, the second-highest rank one can achieve in sumo. Goeido was promoted to this ranking two years ago. He’s posted four losing records and won in double digits only once since.

Now, if Goeido wins on Sunday against Kotoshogiku (9-5), he will become the first-ever kadoban ozeki to lift the cup with a 15-0 mark. He already became the fifth-oldest Osaka native to win his first championship since sumo went to a six-tourney season in 1958.

The only other person who was eligible to win the cup entering Saturday was No. 14 Endo (12-2). He kept the possibility of the achievement alive with a victory over sekiwake Takayasu (10-4), but Goeido’s victory nullified those hopes.

Original story: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports/2016/09/24/sumo/basho-reports/goeido-locks-first-title-14th-victory/#.V-b_K7VO36Q

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