My-Dohyo on Social Media!

My-Dohyo is now on Social Media!

It goes without saying that 2020 has been a tough year for all sumo-loving fans around the world. However, the strength of the sumo world has by no means been broken – on the contrary, it is growing stronger: fans were allowed to attend live sumo in September for the first time since March in a limited capacity, with spectatorship expanded for the spectacular season finale at half capacity in November.

This season has provided a mixed bag of emotions, with the cancellation of the April tournament and the tragic death of sandanme rikishi Shobushi, after contracting the novel coronavirus in May. Conversely, strong performances from Maegashira #17 wrestlers Tokushoryu and Terunofuji to win the January and July tournaments respectively, set the tone for the class of sumo to expect from the 2020 season. Later victories from Shodai and Takakeisho promoted the former to Ozeki and provided a solid platform for the latter to seek Yokozuna promotion at the start of next season.

As a result of the pandemic struggles that have impacted the entire sporting-world, social media has been a great way for sumo fans to continue sharing their support and engaging with professional sumo. Therefore, it is our pleasure to announce that My-Dohyo is now available on Social Media platforms!

As a My-Dohyo follower on Instagram and Twitter, you will be able to see the latest and greatest news from the world of sumo, engage with the My-Dohyo social media family, as well as having the opportunity to share your love of sumo with all of your social media friends.

With the 2021 season of sumo wrestling starting in January, there is no better time than the present to become part of the My-Dohyo social media family – you really don’t want to miss the sumo-fun!

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If you don’t have social media, then not to worry – you can always find the latest sumo-news on this website!

We wish you a very (Sumo) Christmas and New Year!

Stay safe!

March 2021: Days 10-12

Takayasu continues to shine!

As the 2021 Spring Grand Sumo tournament reaches its concluding days, Komusubi Takayasu looks to settle his claim on the Yūshō after defeating Maegashira #2 Hokutofuji on day 12 with an oshidashi technique (frontal push out). Takayasu now holds a spectacular 10:2 win record heading into day 13 of the prestigious event.

Takayasu’s Spring campaign began rather slowly: initially suffering a defeat to Maegashira #3 Meisei, few expected the unbelievable nine consecutive victories that would follow. Boasting successes against some of the strongest rikishi, such as Ozeki Takakeisho, 2021 January Basho champion Komusubi Daieisho, as well as Ozeki Asanoyama and Komusubi Terunofuji, Takayasu has clearly asserted his dominance throughout this year’s Spring Basho.

Despite his day 11 setback to an ever-improving Ozeki Shodai, the Komusubi reversed the ill-tide by overcoming Hokutofuji on day 12 and now looks to be in full-stride marching into day 13. However, Takayasu will have to keep his guard-up, as he will face a strong-looking Maegashira #2 Wakatakakage, who has accumulated a 6 consecutive win streak since day 7 and now holds a total Basho tally of 8:4. With Asanoyama and Terunofuji hot on his tail, a failure against Wakatakakage could add unwanted pressure to Takayasu’s end-game plans. Victory on day 13 is therefore paramount for the Basho leader’s journey towards his first ever Makuuchi division title!

Asanoyama and Terunofuji Chasing for the Yūshō.

Brandishing four wins on the trot, Ozeki Asanoyama appears to have recovered from day 7 and day 8 upsets versus Maegashira #4 Kiribayama and Komusubi Daieisho. Bagging recent wins against Sekiwake Takanosho and Komusubi Mitakeumi, Asanoyama looks to be back in good form as he enters into the final stages of the tournament. Asanoyama will face the prowess of fellow Ozeki Takakeisho on day 13 – an all important bout for Asanoyama if he wishes to continue his pursuit on Takayasu and his bid for the Yūshō.

The final main threat to the Basho forerunner is the 2020 November champion, Terunofuji. Like Asanoyama, Terunofuji currently holds an excellent 9:3 win record, which provides him with a golden opportunity to at least replicate his superb 11:4 performance at the 2021 January Basho. However, after some poor defeats to the abysmally performing pair of Maegashira ranked wrestlers, Onosho and Shimanoumi, Terunofuji needs to find a consistent foothold in order to further his present tournament record. Drawn against Shodai on day 13, Terunofuji will need to get his Sumo together in order to take down the skill of an Ozeki

With day 13’s bouts beginning in less than 24 hours, we could be about to witness some of the Basho’s most important fights; although Takayasu, with his current 10:2 record does not technically need a win on day 13, Asanoyama and Terunofuji, however, cannot afford another defeat in their Basho campaign if they are to remain within contention for the Yūshō!

Please tune in to the Sumo action and stay safe!

March 2021: Days 7-9

Takayasu marches ahead, Terunofuji and Chiyonokuni aim for Yusho contention!

Surging ahead of his fellow rikishi at the 2021 Spring Grand Sumo Tournament, is Komusubi Takayasu. Despite suffering an initial setback against Maegashira #3 Meisei on Day 1, Takayasu managed to take victory in all of his subsequent bouts, leaving the rikishi with eight victories to one defeat after 9 days of Sumo. With wins over the prestige of Ozeki Asanoyama, as well as dismantling one of the current title contenders – Terunofuj – Takayasu appears to be in optimum form heading into the latter stages of the event. However, day 10 presents one of Takayasu’s hardest challenge since the beginning of the Basho: he will face the two-time Makuuchi division champion, Takakeisho, in an all-or nothing bout.

Although Takakeisho’s 2021 Spring campaign has highlighted some weaknesses in his Sumo of late – losing to lower-ranked competitors, such as Wakatakakage, Hotutofuji and Meisei – the Ozeki’s previous achievements in the Makuuchi division, not to mention his respectable 6:3 win record, hold him in good stead ahead of his fight against the current Basho leader, Takayasu. A victory for Takakeisho would give the Kadoban Ozeki (at risk of demotion from the rank of Ozeki, unless he gets more wins than losses in this tournament) a much needed confidence boost going into the next Basho in May.

Closing in to Takayasu with a formidable 7:2 win record, Terunofuji is looking to add yet another Makuuchi division title to his collection at this year’s Spring event. Having performed impeccably in the last two Sumo competitions – winning Gino-Sho (technique prizes) in both – as well as claiming victory at the 2020 July Basho, Terunofuji is increasingly becoming the ‘King of Consistency’ in the world of professional Sumo. However, with losses to both Takayasu and Onosho thus far in the event, in addition to his lack of yet facing an Ozeki competitor, it’s fair to say that Terunofuji’s toughest bouts are still yet to come in the 2021 Spring Grand Sumo Tournament. 

A further threat to Yūshō leader, Takayasu, is Chiyonokuni. The Maegashira #9 wrestler has fought spectacularly to take the only 7:2 record other than Terunofuji after the ninth day of proceedings. Overcoming Tobizaru on day 1, as well as Tamawashi on day 9, Chiyonokuni has already exceeded fans’ expectations by defying the odds and defeating two higher ranked opponents. Chiyonokuni will face a struggling Okinoumi on day 10, where he will have a chance to add another upset to his Spring campaign in addition to adding further pressure on Takayasu for the title race.

With just 6 days left in the second Basho of the year, the race for the Yūshō is becoming increasingly tense. Despite Takayasu’s winning advantage heading into the 10th day of Sumo fights, the Komusubi cannot afford to take his foot off the accelerator; Sekiwake Terunofuji and Maegashira #9 Chiyonokuni lack just one victory – and one loss – to level with the current Basho leader. So, get your popcorn at the ready, because the real fun is only just about to begin!

March 2021: Days 4-6

The new battle for Yūshō between Ozeki, Komusubi, Sekiwake and Maegashira begins!

After a thrilling start to the 2021 Spring Grand Sumo Tournament, six confident wrestlers
have pulled ahead of the competition, each boasting stellar 5:1 win records. Currently leading the race for the Yūshō are: Asanoyama (Ozeki), Takanosho (Sekiwake), Terunofuji (Sekiwake), Takayasu (Komusubi), Myogiryu (Maegashira #4) and Chiyonokuni (Maegashira #9).

Asanoyama holds the line, upholding the Ozeki prestige.

Despite suffering an early defeat to Terunofuji, Ozeki Asanoyama has managed to claw his way back up to the top! With powerful victories against the likes of Onosho (Maegashira #1) and Meisei (Maegashira #3), the Ozeki competitor managed to level the playing field with the lower Komusubi, Sekiwake and Maegashira ranks – who were previously dominating the Basho. Heading into day 7, Asanoyama looks to extend his four-consecutive win streak, facing off against Maegashira #4 Kiribayama, who currently holds a less competitive 2:4 record.

Terunofuji continues to impress!

Fresh from winning the Gino-sho (technique prize) at the 2021 January Sumo event, Terunofuji’s performances have been on an impressive run of late! With early wins against Hokutufuji (Maegashira #2), Daieisho and Meisei, (Sekiwake) Terunofuji appeared to be on an unstoppable pursuit for the Yūshō. However, after falling short to a fierce Onosho on day 5, Terunofuji’s 4:0 winning streak came to a halt. The halt was brief, however, as day 6 saw him return to his winning ways, dismantling Kiribayama with a tsuridashi technique (a win by lifting an opponent out of the ring whilst gripping their mawashi belt). On day 7, Terunofuji will face Komusubi Mitakeumi – an all important bout for the Sekiwake as he looks to continue his pursuit for the Yūshō.

Takayasu returns to form!

Defeating fellow Komusubi earlier today with uwatedashinage (a pulling overarm throw), Takayasu – now with 5 consecutive victories under his belt – appears to be in outstanding form ahead of his forthcoming battle on day 7 against a struggling Takarafuji (1:5 win:loss record). Testament to the Komusubi’s spectacular run of results, was his early victory against Asanoyama – a success which naturally would have boosted Takayasu’s confidence to overcome the likes of Mitakeumi and Daieisho. With a successful bout against one of the leading competitors, Takayasu is well on his way to contend for the March Yūshō.

The fight gets tougher for Myogiryu.

Maegashira #4 wrestler Myogiryu suffered his first defeat in the Spring Basho on day 6,
losing to Hokutofuji’s oshidashi (frontal push out) kimarite (winning technique). Prior to the unsuccessful bout against the Maegashira #2 fighter, Myogiryu had become the leader of the tournament, showcasing a 5:0 record after 5 days of wrestling. However, the pressure is now on for Myogiryu; with his higher ranked peers now on the same level as him, can he retain his competitive stance and vie for the Yūshō? That remains to be seen.

Early promise from Chiyonokuni, but the toughest bouts are yet to come!

The final competitor – with a spectacular 5:1 record thus far – is Maegashira #9 Chiyonokuni.
Having failed to compete in the 2021 January Basho due to incidences of Covid-19 infections at the Kokonoe stable, Chiyonokuni raised a few
eyebrows with his strong performances in the Spring Tourney – overcoming his
Maegashira superiors, Kagayaki and Tobizaru. That being said, Chiyonokuni is yet to do battle with any of the Sanyaku ranked rikishi, such as Asanoyama or Terunofuji. Yet, in lieu of his Basho upsets, avid fans should keep an eye on the Maegashira #9 wrestler; the fight for the Yūshō is only just getting started!

March 2021: Days 1-3

Yokozuna Hakuho withdraws, Sekiwake and Maegashira lead the way!

Hakuho withdraws form the March meet after sustaining a knee injury

It has been a dramatic start for many of the rikishi at the 2021 Spring Grand Sumo tournament, hosted once again at the Kokugikan arena in Tokyo. Not only have fans witnessed upsets from their favourite wrestlers, but have also received the shocking news that Basho favourite, Yokozuna Hakuho, has withdrawn from the March event, due to a right knee injury.

After being absent from Makuuchi division competitions since the 2020 July Basho, East Yokozuna Hakuho had his hopes set on a returning victory to the professional sumo world. However, it was not to be for the Mongolian-born wrestler, who was forced to withdraw from the tournament before the third day of proceedings could take place. Hakuho is set to have surgery later this month on his right knee, suffering a damaged right patella and swelling around the joint.

Hakuho’s stablemaster, Miyagino, suggests that the Yokozuna’s career hangs in the balance, and that the 2021 July Basho could be Hakuho’s final competition as a professional sumo wrestler,

“He was told (by a doctor) that he couldn’t wrestle in his current condition. He said he will make his final decision at the Nagoya tournament (in July)” – Miyagino.

Yokozuna absence leaves the Yūshō open for contention.

Following Hakuho’s withdrawal, the baton falls to the leading Sekiwake and Maegashira fighters to lead the charge for the Yūshō. Tied at three wins to zero losses, Terunofuji (Sekiwake), Myogiryu (Maegashira #4) and Ichinojo (Maegashira #6) are all currently topping the scorecard.

Terunofuji, a wrestler with much prestige, will no doubt be eyeing up the March Yūshō, in an attempt to claim his third career Makuuchi Division Championships title. Having defeated the 2020 January Basho champion – the now Komusubi ranked wrestler, Daieisho – with a strong yoritaoshi kimarite (frontal crush out – winning technique) earlier today, Terunofuji looks to be in spectacular form heading into Day 4 of the tournament.

Looking to mount a challenge to Terunofuji’s pursuit for the Yūshō, is Myogiryu. He looks to win his first ever Makuuchi division championship in this March tournament. The Hyogo Pref. born wrestler has a favourable chance to further his 3:0 winning streak, facing off tomorrow against the lower ranked Maegashira #6 wrestler, Tamawashi. A win in the fourth day of events would help build Myogiryu’s confidence heading towards the latter stages of the competition, wherein the Maegashira #4 competitor will face some of the toughest fighters in sumo history.

Despite being the lowest ranked wrestler with a spotless 3:0 record so far in the event, Ichinojo appears to be far from lacking in his performances. With confident victories over Tochinoshin and Kagayaki, as well as his superior Maegashira #5 ranked competitor, Okinoumi, Ichinojo appears to be a growing threat. If Ichinojo can clinch a win against the struggling Endo in tomorrow’s bout, then Ichinojo could be well on his way to competing for the Yūshō.

As we enter into Day 4 of the Spring Grand Sumo Event, avid fans will be keeping a keen eye out for further drama in the bouts to come. Will Terunofuji, Myogiryu and Ichinojo be able to carry on their electrifying form, or will other competitors arise to challenge them – we shall have to wait and see!

Birthday boy Asanoyama and his bid for the Spring Yusho!

Hideki Asanoyama enjoyed great success at the inaugural Sumo event of 2021, held in Tokyo, January. Now, the Ozeki wrester has a different and more personal reason to celebrate: it’s his birthday!

Fans across the world recently took to social media to send their best wishes to Ozeki Asanoyama on his 27th birthday, less than a fortnight before taking centre stage at the 2021 Spring Sumo tournament. 

yori.kiri draws the Sumo grand champion a birthday card (Click the link to discover yori.kiri’s amazing Instagram page and to follow their awesome work!)

Despite his devastating withdrawal from the 2020 November Basho due to a shoulder injury he picked up on the first day of bouts, Asanoyama looks to be in good shape heading into the forthcoming event. This comes after his strong finish to the 2021 January Sumo tourney, defeating fellow Ozeki, Shodai, as well as other notable rivals, such as the Maegashira #3 Meisei and Sekiwake Takanosho. 

However, with the two Yokuzuna fighters, Hakuho and Kakuryu, returning to the ring this month, the Ozeki competitor will have his work cut-out for him if he is to replicate the stellar performance from two months ago. 

Hakuho and Kakuryu aren’t the only potential threats for Asanoyama; Daieisho, ahead of his incredible championship victory at the beginning of the year, will be looking to add another title to his growing collection of trophies.

While there is clearly a fierce list of competitors awaiting to disrupt the Ozeki fighter’s bid for the Yusho, Asanoyama, who debuted in the Makuuchi division back in 2017, is far from being a stranger to success in the toughest of circumstances. In the 2019 May tournament, Asanoyama became the first ever wrester from Toyama Pref. to win a top division championship, after defeating Tochinoshin on the final day of proceedings. He also achieved his first kinboshi in the subsequent 2019 July Basho, with an incredible win over Yokozuna Kakuryu. 

In addition, due to Hakuho and Kakaryu’s lack of participation over the last 8-10 months amid health and injury related concerns, it’s tough to predict how the two Yokozuna will  fare in the upcoming March Basho. Taking advantage of this will prove paramount for Asanoyama, if he wishes to conclude his birthday season in style, and claim the second Sumo event of 2021

Happy Birthday Ozeki Asanoyama!

Will the birthday boy and his campaign for the Spring Yusho prove successful? We will have to wait and see; however, one thing is certain: with the support of the fans, Asanoyama will head into the event with his head held high, full of confidence.

Therefore, watch out Hakuho and Kakuryu; Ozeki Asanoyama is coming after you!

January 2021: Roundup

With the 2021 January Sumo Tournament now concluded, sumo fans can reminisce
over the dramatic twists and turns of the year’s first Sumo event that left fans full of awe
and admiration for the participating competitors.

The Basho commences

After the heart-rendering news that the two Yokozuna competitors – Hakuho and Kakuryu –
had withdrawn from the Basho due to ill health, all eyes fell on November’s Makuuchi
Division Champion, Takakeisho, to take the place as favourite for the Yusho at the January
event. However, success did not favour the East Ozeki wrestler; after 9 days of bouts, 24-year-old Takakeisho had little to show for it with an unsatisfactory 2:7 win record. By the tenth day of the event, Takakeisho had been withdrawn from the tournament with a
purported ankle injury which he had apparently picked up during bout with the lower ranked Hokotufuji (Maegashira #1).

There are some who may question Takakeisho’s abrupt exit from the Basho; with his bid for promotion to the highly acclaimed Yokozuna rank now in tatters, there appeared little reason for Takakeisho to continue competing in the tournament.

Despite Takakeisho’s disappointing departure from the January Sumo competition, fans
were not left despondent for long; there arose a new favourite for the January Yūshō: the
Maegashira #1 ranked wrestler, Daieisho.

Following recent promotion to the highest echelon of the Maegashira rank, Daieisho was
overflowing with confidence as he began his conquest for the title. After three successful
bouts versus the top Ozeki competitors of the event – Takakeisho, Asanoyama and Shodai –
27 -year-old Daieisho was looking in top form. As the days progressed, Daieisho would go on to sport an undisturbed 9:0 record, creating a gap between himself and his rivals that would prove unsurpassable towards the latter stages of the Basho.

Much to our excitement, Daieisho was not the only competitor whose sights were set on the Yūshō; in fact, trailing just behind him were three other top fighters – the strongest looking of this trio was none other than the fearless Ozeki wrestler, Shodai. Although suffering from an early upset versus Daieisho on the third day of the January Basho, Shodai was quick to recover his cool and managed to secure a fierce 7:2 win-to-loss ratio, which in turn would undoubtedly make him one of the biggest threats to Daieisho going into the closing stages of the tournament.

Joining Shodai’s ambitious resurgence was Asanoyama and Yūshō underdog,
Akiseyama (Maegashira #16) – who, by this point, was displaying a level of Sumo few
expected to witness from the Basho’s lowest ranked competitor. The two wrestlers
entered the tenth day of the competition with a competent 6:3 record under their belt.
However, it was only Asanoyama who was able to continue the charge alongside Shodai and Daieisho for the Yusho: sadly, Akiseyama fell short to a bitterly long spell of poor results that would remove him from the title race. With just three competitors left to face off for the Yusho, we enter the most exciting stage of the tournament: the final two days!

Closing stages

By this point, Asanoyama’s winning record (9:4) was simply too meagre (in comparision to his two rivals) for him to be declared a serious threat in the pursuit for first place at the
competition. As a result, one thing became abundantly clear: the eventual champion of the
2021 January Sumo tournament could only be Daieisho or Shodai.

Entering the arena on the penultimate day of the Basho, Daieisho and Shodai both found
themselves levelled with equally spectacular 11:2 win records. It seemed that whoever was
to become the first Makuuchi division champion of the year must take extreme care to win
their remaining bouts – even one loss could prove pivotal!

Alas it was Shodai – not Daieisho – who succumbed to the wrath of both his final
two opponents, Terunofuji and Asanoyama. As a result, Daieisho made history by claiming his first ever Makuuchi division champion title and concluded his successful run in the Basho with an incredible 13:2 score line.

After an incredible Sumo event, we can hardly wait for more! Thankfully enough, the next
tournament will be staged in less than 2 months from now, so we won’t have to wait long
until we get the privilege of watching the world’s best Sumo Wrestlers take centre stage
once again!

2021 January Basho – Days 13-15: Review (Final Day)

Daieisho makes history as he wins the 2021 January Basho!

After 15 spectacular days of Sumo action, Daieisho of Saitama pref. made history after he was crowned Champion at the 2021 January Sumo Tournament; his first ever Makuuchi Division Yūshō!

The Maegashira #1 Sumo wrestler first sparked interest in the event after his initial victories against the tournament’s highest ranked Ozeki competitors: Asanoyama, Takakeisho and Shodai. Daieisho’s fantastic run of success didn’t stop there: by the end of the 8th day of the Basho, he managed to amass an incredible, rank defying, 8-0 win streak. 

Despite his sensational start to the tournament, Daieisho’s pathway to the Yūshō was far from simple; towards the latter stages of the event, he was met by the growing threat of the Ozeki ranked wrestler, Shodai, who by that point had begun to find strong form in the first Basho of the year. However, Daieisho kept his cool to the end and proved his mettle by finishing the event with a breath-taking 13:2 win record – a result that proved to be unsurpassable by his Ozeki counterpart who failed to win a single bout in the final 2 days of the tournament!

If the Makuuchi Division Yūshō wasn’t enough for the Maegashira ranked fighter, Daieisho was met with two further awards as a result of his strong performance in this Basho: the Shukun-sho (Outstanding Performance Award) and the Gino-sho(Technique Prize) – the latter being yet another career-first for 27-year-old Daieisho!

With the next Sumo Basho taking place in March, Sumo fans will have to wait the best part of two months before they see the likes of Daieisho and Shodai take centre stage once again. One begs the question: will Daieisho’s form continue through to the 2021 March event, or will another competitor successfully challenge him for the Yūshō? We will have to wait and see!

2021 January Basho – Days 9-12: Review

Shodai levels with Daieisho as the January basho approaches its final day

As the 12th day of the 2021 January Basho has now concluded, it’s fair to say that the first Sumo event of the year has been nothing short of a thrilling spectacle! Day 11 marked a pinnacle point in the basho for fans of the Ozeki ranked wrestler, Shodai. After having trailed behind Daieisho since the initial rounds of the tournament, 29 year-old Shodai of the Tokitsukaze Stable, managed to close the sizeable gap between him and the Maegashira #1 fighter, as they both concluded Day 12 with impressive 10:2 win records.

With Shodai and Daieisho clearly leading the charge for the yūshō, other rikishi who previously seemed to be in with a chance of challenging for the title, find themselves falling behind the duo of championship contenders.

Despite his slow start to the event, Ozeki Asanoyama had been producing some fine wins in recent days. Due to this, Asanoyama was becoming the biggest threat to Daieisho and Shodai’s leadership in the event. However, after suffering a tough defeat to Terunofuji of Sekiwake rank, it seems that Asanoyama will have to unleash a miracle if he wants to challenge for the yūshō.

Although it is tough to predict who will become the eventual victor at the 2021 January event, Sumo enthusiasts may now have their bets placed on the experienced Ozeki Shodai, who has been looking in incredible form these last three days. Not only does his high ranking display his level of expertise as a professional Sumo wrestler, but his additional years of experience he has over his younger counterpart Daieisho will also give him an edge over the Maegashira #1 title hopeful.

In contrast to Daieisho’s lacking results over the last few days, Shodai has displayed utter dominance in his recent bouts; the Ozeki competitor has now secured four consecutive wins since his last defeat (Mitakeumi of the Komusabi rank, Day 8). Such a winning streak can only help to bolster Shodai’s confidence and in turn, damage Daieisho’s prospects of a perfect end to the basho. On the other hand, Daieisho’s spectacular start to the competition proves that the Maegashira wrestler is more than capable of claiming the first title of 2021; after having destroyed all-three of the top participating Ozeki competitors – including Shodai – in his initial bouts, any head-to-head competitive advantage between the two challengers lay with Daieisho.

2021 January Basho – Days 6-9: Review

Daieisho suffers first shocking defeat – Shodai is hot on his heels!

With the 2021 January Basho drawing nearer to its latter stages, all attention is on the leader of the conquest for the Juryo, Daieisho. 

After having marched his way through the first eight days of the event without a single loss, the Maegashira #1 wrestler, Daieisho, was in seemingly unbreakable form. Day 9, however, brought new challenges for the yūshō hopeful marking his first defeat in the tournament, losing out to the lower-ranked Takarafuji (Maegashira #2). Despite the unfortunate upset, Daieisho’s 8-1 win record still appears tough for any of his fellow competitors to overcome. That being said, the loss will certainly add unwanted pressure on the Maegashira #1 wrestler, which will make life harder for him as he pursues the first championship of 2021.  

After suffering only one defeat as of the end of play on Day 9, Daieisho is coming under increasing pressure from rikishi who got off to a slow start in January but have since rekindled their strength: specifically, Ozeki Shodai.

After an early withdrawal from the November Basho due to a left ankle injury, questions were raised as to whether Shodai would recover in time to participate in the 2021 event. However, the newly promoted Ozeki wrestler looks to be back in good physical shape with no signs of pain, as he managed to secure a 7-2 win-to-loss record before heading into Day 10 of the January Sumo Tournament. On the other hand though, 29-year-old Shodai will have his work cut-out for him if he is to successfully challenge Daieisho for the yūshō; having suffered two surprising defeats to Mitakeumi and top-dog Daieisho respectively, it’s difficult to say whether Shodai’s form is consistent enough to compete for the January title.

Trailing just behind his fellow Ozeki competitor is none other than the yorikiri specialist from Toyama, Asanoyama, who currently boasts a formidable 6:3 win record. Despite his slow start to the tournament, 26-year-old Asanoyama picked up the pace with three consecutive strong wins – one of which was against the fearless Komusubi ranked wrestler, Takayasu – showing that he could just be capable of competing against Daieisho and Shodai for the title. We will have to wait and see how he performs over the course of the next few days! 

Asanoyama is not alone in playing catch-up to the two leaders of the January Basho; he is joined by 9 other fighters who all find themselves tied on a 6-3 record after nine days of play. Of particular note in the group, is the Mongolian competitor: Terunofuji.

With spectacular performances in the Sumo events that took place in 2020, Terunofuji has proved time and time again just how deserving he is of his Sekiwake title. However, tomorrow will be a major test for Terunofuji and his bid for the yūshō, as he is matched up against neighbouring Sekiwake ranked wrestler, Takanosho – a bout that avid Sumo fans will be watching with keen interest. If Terunofuji can defeat Takanosho, he will become yet another new threat for the title, so make sure to keep an eye out for the Mongolian born competitor!

2021 January Basho – Days 3-6: Review

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!