Kakuryu Beats, Breaks Tie with Tochinoshin

Yokozuna Kauryu and sekiwake Tochinoshin were tied on top of the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament standings entering Saturday, May 26, and the two faced off in a key basho match-up.

Kakuryu (13-1) managed to defeat Tochinoshin (12-2) to gain sole possession of the top of the standings entering the final day of the basho. This gave a bit of revenge to Kakuryu, who lost to Tochinoshin back in March — one of two losses Kakuryu suffered en route to the Spring Basho title.

Tochinoshin charged at Kakuryu and was able to get the Mongolian yokozuna to an edge of the ring. But Kakuryu got an underarm belt hold on Tochinoshin, fighting back before eventually throwing the sekiwake down.

“I kept my body low and stretched my arms,” Kakuryu said. “I have to maintain this desire and do my best until the very end.”

Tochinoshin has now lost back-to-back bouts in the tournament, possibly in part due to a wrist injury he suffered on May 25. Fortunately for him, he is at least guaranteed promotion to sumo’s second-highest ranking of ozeki.

The other big story coming out of the day was Hakuho (11-3) suffering his third loss of the tournament in upset fashion, eliminating him from basho title contention. Sekiwake Ichinojo (8-6) grabbed Hakuho’s belt with his left hand and pulling him forward and out of the fight.

Hakuho won three tournaments in 2017, but he failed to complete the January and March meets this year because of injury. A win in this meet would have been the 41st tournament win of his career, which would have extended his record.

Original Story: Japan Times

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