Harumafuji completes comeback, wins Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament
Despite Hakuho leading for most of the tournament, it is fellow Mongolian yokozuna Harumafuji who took home his seventh career title by winning the Kyushu Basho.
It didn’t look good for Harumafuji as he lost his match to ozeki Kisenosato (10-5) in the day’s penultimate bout at Fukuoka Kokusai Center. However, Hakuho, the only wrestler left with a chance at the title, followed that up with a loss of his own, to fellow yokozuna Kakuryu, to squander the opportunity to force a playoff.
It was the first championship in two years for Harumafuji, who missed the entire Autumn meet in September and most of the Nagoya Basho in the summer due to a right elbow injury.
“I wanted to win the championship with a victory but I am happy I could respond to expectations of the fans (over the course of the tournament),” said Harumafuji.
Hakuho, who was also coming back from an injury, blew a great chance to capture a record-extending 36th Emperor’s Cup, finishing on a three-fightlosing streak.
No Outstanding Performance Prize was awarded for the first time in three tournaments.