Daieisho and Akiseyama lead the yūshō charge with a 6:0 win record!
The sixth day of Sumo bouts at the 2021 January Sumo Tournament has now concluded, with two wrestlers on the opposite side of the ranking spectrum deadlocked on perfect win-to-loss records. Those fighters are none other than: the formidable Daieisho (Maegashira #1) and the underdog for the title, Akiseyama (Maegashira #16).
Daieisho looks to be in the form of his life in the 2021 January event. After having
begun his conquest for the yūshō with three spectacular victories against the top-ranked Ozeki fighters (Takakeisho, Asanoyama and Shodai), Daieisho has displayed his desire to be crowned victor at the first Sumo event of the year. However, he must keep his cool if he wants to continue with his perfect streak, as tomorrow he must face the talented Sekiwake fighter, Takanosho, who currently holds a respectable 4:2 score in this basho.
As mentioned above, Daieisho is not alone in his bid for first place at the Championship – he is joined by his much lower-ranked counterpart, Akiseyama.
Although his Maegashira #16 ranking is lacking compared to his new rival – Daieisho -Akiseyama has proved himself to be a powerful and fearless competitor. With his most successful kimarite being the Yorikiri (frontal force out), 35-year-old Akiseyama has managed to defeat all of his opponents, manoeuvring his way through the event perfectly as of the end of play on Day 6. That being said, Akiseyama is yet to fight an Ozeki, so we must await his toughest bouts of the tournament with keen interest if we are to truly gauge the Maegashira #16’s winning potential!
As Daieisho and Akiseyama find themselves neck-and-neck with each other in yūshō contention, there is a growing threat close on their heels; leading the trailing campaign group, is none other than Ozeki Shodai, who currently boasts a 5:1 record.
With Shodai’s victory at the 2020 September Sumo Tournament – which resulted in the then Sekiwake ranked rikishi from Kumamoto prefecture being awarded the kanto-sho ‘Fighting Spirit’ award for the second consecutive time and secured his promotion to Ozeki – he has shown his inner strength in competition of late and is looking to secure his first yūshō as an Ozeki. However, winning the January tournament will not be an easy task for Shodai: trailing the top two wrestlers by a victory and possibly still nursing his ankle injury from November, it will be difficult for the Ozeki to maintain such pressure on Daieisho and Akiseyama throughout the next 9 Days.
Sharing Shodai’s strong win-to-loss ratio are the two Maegashira competitors – Meisei
(Maegashira #7) and Kotonowaka (Maegashira #15).
With wins over the higher ranked Maegashira rikishi (Ryuden and Kagayaki) Meisei has shown his mettle so far in the January Sumo event. Known for his fairly consistent results throughout 2020, Meisei looks set to score another kachi-koshi (more wins than losses), in this basho, signifying a strong and successful start to his 2021 season. Tomorrow, Meisei will face his toughest opponent of the event so far: Maegashira #3, Endo. If he can overcome Endo, then Meisei may just have what it takes to compete for the January yūshō!
Maegashira #15 Kotonowaka joins the yūshō trailing group along with Meisei and Shodai’s, scoring a defiant 5:1 record so far. After enjoying consistent success in recent events and with his strong start so far in the 2021 Season, Kotonowaka will be looking for a promotion to the upper Maegashira ranks in the near future. Tomorrow the young wrestler will be facing a tough Midorifuji; we can’t wait to see how he fares against his higher-ranked Maegashira #14 rival!