Yokozuna Hakuho has claimed his 45th career title in the Makuuchi Division after defeating Ozeki Terunofuji in a truly electrifying Grand Sumo Final!
Hakuho’s returning victory wasn’t by any means easy; it was all to play for on the
Final Day of the July basho, with the two Sumo kings, Yokozuna Hakuho and Ozeki
Terunofuji, both making it to the end of Day 14 tied up at 14:0 winning records. As a result,
fans were set to witness a legendary bout between the two, as they went head-to-head for
the July yūshō!
Out of the gate, it appeared a rather awkward tachiai for Hakuho: racing at full-pelt, the
Yokozuna launched himself arms-up at the Ozeki, causing a mighty collision. Feeling the
force of his onslaught, Hakuho was pushed back, skipping about the edge of the ring,
looking to find some space in the centre and get a grip on his fierce opponent. Eventually,
the two locked grips, and fans were left in ecstatic wonder of who would emerge the victor,
with the duo throwing each other about the ring. While Hakuho appeared to be ‘in control’
of the bout, Terunofuji never gave up and mounted counter-attack after counter-attack in an attempt to catch Hakuho off-guard. Although it was a tough bout, the victory would eventually go to Hakuho, who won by kotenage (arm-lock throw).
After his victory, Hakuho let out a roar in celebration, marking his stellar achievement of not only defeating his new rival in Terunofuji, but also in taking yet another title, furthering his record as Sumo’s most decorated wrestler, in addition to being just one win away from 900 total career victories! For Hakuho fans who were previously worried of the Yokozuna’s retirement from the sport, have no fear: Hakuho is back!
Although it was Hakuho earning the top prize, consolation and congratulation should be
extended to Terunofuji for his efforts. Challenging Hakuho as closely as he managed throughout the event, deserves much praise. Upon Hakuho’s return, Terunofuji stepped up to the mark throughout the basho, winning bout after bout as each day progressed. To have reached the Final Day without a single blemish to his tally is, in itself, deserving of much celebration. Furthermore, ending the event with a winning record of 14:1, is surely enough of promotion to the legendary rank of Yokozuna. As a result, we congratulate you, Terunofuji on your breath-taking performance!
Receving the Kanto-sho and Gino-sho prizes this month were the impressive Maegashira #11 Kotonowaka and Maegashira #5 Hoshoryu. Reaching Day 13 with 9:3, Kotonowaka would go on to end the event with 12:3, winning all three of his final bouts, while Hoshoryu would settle for a respectable 10:5 score line. A special mention should also be awarded to Maegashira #10 Tamawashi, who finished the event with a spectacular 11:4 winning record.