Newly promoted West Yokozuna, Terunofuji, claimed his fifth career title in the Makuuchi
division, displaying a stellar 13:2 win record on the Final Day to take the yūshō.
The Mongolian-born wrestler was in superb form from the outset of the event; boasting a
8:0 score after eight days of fighting – finding some strong victories against the likes of
Takanosho and Kotonowaka – Terunofuji looked to be working towards his first title as a
Yokozuna ranked wrestler.
However, suffering a rather shocking defeat on Day 9 to Maegashira #4 Daiesho, it became
evident that Terunofuji wasn’t alone in his pursuit for yūshō glory; following close behind
were Myogiryu and Endo, the Maegashira duo sporting 7:2 and 6:3 scores respectively.
Despite falling short to Daieisho, Terunofuji managed to maintain his composure in his bouts versus versus Ura and Takayasu on Days 10 and 11, boosting his basho record to a breath-taking 10:1.
Although Endo could only convert his Day 11 bout against Kaisei – losing to Onosho on Day 10 – former Sekiwake Myogiryu continued to add pressure to the Yokozuna by claiming two victories against Okinoumi and Ichiyamamoto. As a result, Myogiryu remained hot on the heels of Terunofuji with a 9:2 record by the end of Day 11.
With the dash for the Yusho now clearly between Terunofuji and Myogiryu, all eyes were on
the two to see who would emerge as the eventual champion.
Although both parties would succumb to their Day 12 opponents, Terunofuji successfully
rebounded with three consecutive victories to finally be crowned Basho champion, while
Myogiryu was forced to settle with gino-sho (technique prize).
In a post-tournament interview, Terunofuji thanked those that contributed to his success in
the Basho and as a world-leading Sumo wrestler:
“I could not achieve this level of performance on my own […] Starting with my
stablemaster and his wife, to my colleagues at the stable, to my family, and to all
those who come to watch. They are the ones who make this possible and I am
grateful to all of them.”