July 2021 Grand Sumo Tournament: Days 4-6 Reflection.

Yokozuna Hakuho and Ozeki Terunofuji remain undefeated: Kotonowaka trails by one.

After six days of exciting Sumo, Ozeki Terunofuji and Yokozuna Hakuho continue to
dominate, clearing Day 6 without a single loss on their tallies. The pair of fighters currently sit alone at the top of the tournament leaderboard, however, a strong start sees Maegashira #11 Kotonowaka into second place, sporting a 5:1 win record thus far into the event.

With Hakuho returning from injury to participate in his first real event since winning the
2020 March tournament, Terunofuji will have his work cut-out if he’s to successfully
challenge the 44 time Makuuchi Division champion this month. That being said, with the
year that Terunofuji has been having (looking for his third consecutive title if he can claim the July Yusho), in addition to his strong 6:0 start in the event, if anyone has the mettle to upset Yokozuna Hakuho, it’s Ozeki Terunofuji.

As for Hakuho, the Yokozuna seems to be in true winning form, defeating Hokutofuji on Day 6 to level with his Ozeki rival, Terunofuji. Already having defeated such strong rikishi as: Komusubi Meisei and the two Maegashira #2 competitors Ichinojo and Takanosho, Hakuho appears to be unstoppable in the ring. Fans of the Yokozuna can only be delighted with his stellar start; with Hakuho in risk of retirement from professional fighting due to his lack of consistent participation in the Makuuchi Division, fans should be ecstatic with his recent results. Boasting perfect bouts so far, Hakuho looks far from losing his topknot!

Hot on the heels of the two prestigious fighters, is Maegashira #11 Kotonowaka. Despite the sizeable divide in rank, Kotonowaka has managed to become the sole external rival to the two top rikishi, displaying a spectacular 5:1 scoreline. Finding victories over Maegashira #15 Tokushoryu and #12 Kagayaki, Kotonowaka has looked fierce since the outset. However, when facing off against Maegashira #10 Tamawashi on Day 6, Kotonowaka was overcome by Tamawashi’s okuridashi (rear push out) technique. While Kotonowaka is currently placed at second in the leaderboard after Day 6 despite the defeat, having failed to overcome a competitor just one rank above him might paint a less successful finish to his stint in the event, as he prepares to face the stronger ranks towards the end of the tournament.

While Terunofuji is the only Ozeki that currently looks capable of overcoming the might of Hakuho – Takakeisho having retired with injury and Shodai behind at 3:3 – one member of the Sekiwake rank, Mitakeumi, has managed to stay within two bouts of the forerunners, sitting on a respectable score of 4:2. In fact, if not for a loss on Day 6 to the skill of Komusubi Meisei, Mitakeumi could have joined Kotonowaka in shared second position, pursuing Terunofuji and Hakuho. Knowing this, Mitakeumi will surely be looking to enact his revenge on Day 7; facing off against a struggling Daieisho, who has managed to win just one win in thus far, Mitakeumi should be preparing to reverse his luck from Day 6, in order to march after the tournament favourites, Hakuho and Terunofuji.

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