Congrats to Kisenosato on winning the Spring Basho!
It's looking a 50% chance of rain today...probably just enough to annoy my laundry plans...ha ha! The rest of the week will see a mix of sun and clouds and daytime at or just below normal for this time of year (13C-16C), but overnight lows will be warmer than average from Thursday, so hopefully I'll be able to ditch my winter clothes for my commute to and from work.
A taped-up Kisenosato came from behind to win the Spring Grand Sumo tournament in dramatic fashion, defeating ozeki Terunofuji twice on Sunday and becoming the first newly promoted yokozuna to win a championship in 22 years. Takanohana was the last to win a championship in his first tournament as yokozuna.
After suffering a fall on his left shoulder on Friday, Kisenosato was ineffective the following day, when his second straight loss allowed Terunofuji to take the lead. Needing a win on Sunday to even their records at 13-2 and force a championship playoff, Kisenosato somehow survived while his opponent slipped to the surface.
After Kakuryu dispatched fellow Mongolian yokozuna Harumafuji to end the tournament's regularly scheduled bouts and leave both men with 10-5 records, Terunofuji and crowd favorite Kisenosato returned to the ring.
The first Japanese to be promoted to yokozuna since 1998 with his championship in January, Kisenosato surrendered a solid belt hold to his opponent. But Terunofuji clung to his grip too tightly and it proved his undoing as the yokozuna tipped him over to earn the victory.
"I'm speechless," Kisenosato said. "There was something at work that was more than my own strength. My only thoughts were on concentrating and executing."
The crowd, firmly behind him from Day 1, erupted when Kisenosato locked onto Terunofuji's arm and threw him for the final victory, and the emotion was not limited to the spectators.
"I was on the verge of tears," said sumo elder Tomozuna, the sub director of the Japan Sumo Association judges department. "To come out on the 14th day in pain, that was huge because he never let up (by forfeiting that match and resting). His posture in both bouts (on Sunday) was bad, but his body never stopped."
Hopefully his promotion and victory this tournament will mean he is a proper rival for Hakuho...and I hope that both he and Hakuho will be healthy for the next tournament. A rivalry between those two would be great for sumo!
Have a great day!