Sumo Spring Tournament Wrap-Up: Hakuho Wins with Perfect 15-0 Record
The tournament was won on Saturday, but today Hakuho finished a perfect 15-0. Here's how everyone did:
He wasn't in danger of losing even once the entire tournament, including today's bout with Asashoryu, and won his 10th championship (third at 15-0).
Having just turned 24, he's the third youngest wrestler to 10 wins. (Takanohana beat him by almost a year, but he beat Asashoryu by three months.)
Will he hang on long enough to match those guys in total wins? He seems very healthy, so it depends on Asashoryu's ability to take some tournaments from him in the next couple of years.
There doesn't seem to be a lot of other competition out there.
That first loss seemed to have completely brought him down, or else he just got tired and worn out. He ended up losing four of his last six matches to finish at 11-4, in second place but way behind Hakuho.
At least his latest injury seems to be behind him now, and he may be able to get in some practice and be strong for Tokyo in May.
Koto'oshu and Harumafuji
Both finished 10-5, with a couple of good wins and a couple of bad losses. Nothing special.
These two need to turn it up a notch to compete with the Yokozunas.
He eked out an 8-7 tournament, just enough to stave off demotion, very mediocre.
It makes you wonder how long he can hang around as a below-average Ozeki. Based on Kaio's and Chiyotaikai's careers, it could be a very long time.
Speaking of below-average Ozeki, Kaio started strong but faded fast, losing six of his last eight to finish 8-7. Not a surprise, considering he's 36 years old.
I've given up on calling for his retirementIt looks like he's trying to hang on long enough to get the record for most tournaments ever, which I think he's scheduled to get if he survives all six tournaments this year.
He just plain embarrassed himself this tournament, finishing 2-13 and breaking the all-time record for worst tournament by an Ozeki.
He's got no records to go for, except maybe most pathetic Ozeki ever, so maybe it's time for him to call it quits?
He had a very poor tournament, but he did finish strong, taking five of his last six, to eke out a winning 8-7 tournament.
He'll stay at Sekiwake for another tournament, but will need to do a lot better if he wants a promotion to Ozeki some day.
He started poorly at 5-6, then finished that off with four losses in a row to go 5-10.
That means a demotion all the way out of the 'sanyaku' top ranks.
Goeido will be taking Kisenosato's spot at Sekiwake because he went 9-6 from the Komusubi spot just below Kisenosato.
The young Mongoliananother small wrestler at 304 pounds, but with speed and skill went 10-5 at the top of the Maegashira ranks, winning his final eight matches.
He won his second Technique Prize as well. He'll be taking Goeido's spot at Komusubi next tournament.
Another young, small Mongolian with skill, 22-year-old Tochiozan faded at the end but won today to go 8-7.
He held his own all tournament against the top-ranking wrestlers, so he'll move up near the sanyaku ranks in May.
He continued his march back up to toward the top of the rankings with his second straight 11-win tournament. He also won his second straight Fighting Spirit Prize (third of his career), and will move up a lot in the next tournament.
He should be near the top of the Maegashira ranks in May, and will have to face the Ozekis and Yokozunas.
The super-popular wrestler found his level of competition, going 6-9 at Maegashira No. 7.
In May, he'll drop down and face poorer competition, where he'll have a better chance.
My favorite, he had two chances to win an eighth, but lost them both and ended up 7-8, so he'll be dropping lower himself.
The young Russian suffered the first losing tournament of his career in January, but he followed it up this time with a 10-5 record in his third tournament in the majors.
He's strong, but he needs a lot more skill to compete with the top wrestlers.
The rookie won six in a row to get to seven wins, but then lost his last three in a shot at a winning record.
His 7-8 record will drop him down, but should be good enough to stay in the majors for another tournament.
In his second tournament in the majors, the man-mountain just barely got a second winning record, at 8-7.
He's making a very slow march up the rankings in the majors, which is fitting for a 550-pounder.
The former major leaguer won the championship in the minors (his second) with a 12-3 record and will be back in the majors in May.
The Summer Sumo Tournament starts May 10 in Tokyo.
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