After months of inactivity, sumo was able to return with fans and plenty of buzz. While the July Grand Sumo Tournemanty ended up losing multi-time Emperor’s Cup Champion Hakuho due to injury, it made for a very interesting weekend.
In the end, ozeki Terunofuji would end the tournament with a 13-2 record and a win during the final day of competition.
“When I went down the ranks, there were people who were rooting for me: my family, my stablemaster, and all the members of my stable. Thanks to their support I was able to come back,” Terunofuji said, via Kyodo News.
“So many things have happened, but at the very end, I finally faced this day. I believed this day would come where I could smile, that if I worked hard, I would be rewarded.”
Inside Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan, Terunofuji, who was competing in the makuuchi division for the first time since 2018, was able to use his power to outlast his other opponents. He beat Mitakeumi by pulling him backward, claiming his first championship in five years.
The journey to get to this point started following Hakuho’s run coming to an end. He had a one-point tournament lead following wins over Terutsuyoshi, Asanoyama, and Mitakeumi. A loss against any of the opponents would have threatened his lead against the likes of Mitakeumi (11-4) and Asanoyama (12-3). Shodai (11-4) was close to a tournament win after beating Terunofuji towards the end but would lose to Asanoyama on the final day.
Asanoyama, who recently moved up to the level of ozeki, would end up missing out in a tie for first place when he lost to Terutsuyoshi. Additionally, Daieishowould earned the Outstanding Performance Award following his 11th win. He would end the tournament with an 11-4 record and six straight wins.
July’s Grand Sumo Tournament was delayed due to the coronavirus. Following restrictions being lifted, fans were able to attend the event and will look to do so for future tournaments.