2020 July Basho.

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Tokyo Day 14: Shodai and Terutsuyoshi stage huge upsets
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Written by Kyodo
Published: 01 August 2020
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Sekiwake Shodai and rank-and-filer Terutsuyoshi each earned a dramatic win, filling the penultimate day of the July Grand Sumo Tournament with more than its share of surprises.

Shodai was the first to steal the show by throwing a monkey wrench into sumo's feel good story of the year handing No. 17 maegashira Terunofuji his second loss and denying him a chance to clinch his first championship in over five years.

Fighting in the elite makuuchi division for the first time since January 2018, Terunofuji was still able to hang on to his one-win tournament lead. That came thanks to a shocking victory by No. 7 Terutsuyoshi, his Isegahama stablemate, over ozeki Asanoyama, who ended the day tied with Shodai and fellow sekiwake Mitakeumi at 11-3.

In the finale, Terutsuyoshi (8-6) charged head-first toward the ozeki's waist, wrapped up his opponent's left leg and flipped him over in a stunning and unorthodox upset.

In what was set up to be the day's big match, Shodai got the jump on his opponent and was able to drive Terunofuji back toward the straw, the 28-year-old Mongolian's left foot sliding as he struggled to find traction. When Terunofuji arrested his reverse motion, Shodai yanked him downward and off balance. Terunofuji briefly escaped but was unable to fend off Shodai's beltless arm throw.

Of the four former ozeki competing at the lower rungs of the division, two made progress toward earning 10 wins.

Georgian No. 11 maegashira Tochinoshin improved to 9-5 by throwing down No. 5 Hokutofuji (8-6), while No. 13 Takayasu (9-5) opened the top-division action by forcing out No. 16 Nishikigi (6-8). Kotoshogiku had been on track for 10-plus wins, but the 36-year-old No. 14 maegashira was forced out by No. 12 Sadanoumi (7-7) to suffer his third-straight defeat and fall to 8-6.

The komusubi pair of Daieisho and Okinoumi each won. Daiesho (10-4) dispatched No. 6 Enho (5-9), while Okinoumi thrust down Bulgarian No. 4 Aoiyama (5-9).

A day after securing a winning record in his first tournament in the upper division, makuuchi debutant Kotoshoho was slapped down to his sixth loss by No. 10 Myogiryu (10-4), ensuring he won't reach 10 wins at the first go.

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Michelle Stevens

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It could be very interesting on Day 15 if Mitakeumi can beat Terunofuji. A four-way run for the yusho.
 

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It could be very interesting on Day 15 if Mitakeumi can beat Terunofuji. A four-way run for the yusho.
There is a real struggle amongst the younger rikishi to make a decisive move to head towards Yokozuna, I think it is more than likely both current Yokozuna will retire soon.

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Tokyo Day 15: Terunofuji caps dramatic comeback with second title
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Written by Kyodo
Published: 02 August 2020
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Former ozeki Terunofuji completed a stunning comeback to the top division by clinching the July Grand Sumo Tournament with a final-day victory over sekiwake Mitakeumi. The rank-and-file No. 17 maegashira, finished with a 13-2 record at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan and avoided a tiebreaking playoff.

A loss would have seen the Mongolian fall into a three-way tie with Mitakeumi (11-4) and ozeki Asanoyama (12-3), winner of the day’s final bout against sekiwake Shodai (11-4).

After taking an outside belt grip at the jump, Terunofuji quickly muscled fellow Outstanding Performance Award winner Mitakeumi out backwards to claim his first championship in more than five years.

The native of Ulaanbaatar last fought in sumo’s elite makuuchi division in January 2018, before injuries to both knees and illness derailed his career. His one previous top-level championship came at the 2015 Summer Grand Tournament.

Once a candidate for yokozuna promotion, he was demoted from the second-tier juryo division after the 2018 May tourney.

After missing four straight grand tournaments, he began his comeback last year in March’s Spring Grand Sumo Tournament in the sumo world’s second-lowest tier, the jonidan division, where he had bottomed out at No. 48.

Following the injury withdrawal of yokozuna and one-time tournament leader Hakuho after Day 12, the title had looked like a two-horse race between Terunofuji and Asanoyama. But after winning his meeting with Asanoyama on Day 13, Terunofuji blew a chance to secure the title the following day when he lost to Shodai.

That result brought Shodai back into the race, while also keeping open the door for Asanoyama and Mitakeumi.

Asanoyama, meanwhile, missed a chance to move back into a tie for first place on Day 14 when he took his second straight loss at the hands of No. 7 Terutsuyoshi (8-7).

But the new ozeki completed a strong showing in his debut tournament at sumo’s second-highest rank by outmaneuvering Shodai.

Despite being denied his preferred grip, Asanoyama controlled the momentum and used his impressive strength to push out the powerful Shodai, who put his own name on the ozeki candidate list with his 11 wins.

Komusubi Daieisho earned his 11th win — and an Outstanding Performance Award along with it — by pulling down No. 10 Myogiryu (10-5). The 26-year-old from Saitama Prefecture finished a strong tournament with six straight wins on his way to an 11-4 record.

Komusubi Okinoumi (9-6) lost to No. 9 Tamawashi (10-5) in a battle between grapplers looking for their 10th win of the tournament. Okinoumi opened aggressively in search of a belt grip, but Tamawashi kept him off balance before executing an overarm throw.

No. 12 Sadanoumi (8-7) clinched a winning record on the final day by forcing out No. 16 Nishikigi (6-9).

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Michelle Stevens

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An impressive win and great overall story of perseverance for Terunofuji. I'm assuming he'll follow Tokushoryu's route from January in moving from Maegashira #17 to something like Maegashira #2 in September. I guess if he keeps this pace up he could be an ozeki again later next year. It will be interesting to see.

I'm just glad to have sumo back after having no May basho.
 

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An impressive win and great overall story of perseverance for Terunofuji. I'm assuming he'll follow Tokushoryu's route from January in moving from Maegashira #17 to something like Maegashira #2 in September. I guess if he keeps this pace up he could be an ozeki again later next year. It will be interesting to see.

I'm just glad to have sumo back after having no May basho.
Plus the situation we have now is one where the old guard (Hakuho, Kakuryu, Kotoshogiku, Tochinoshin) are battling for supremacy with the new guard (Asanoyama, Mitakeumi, Shodai), with Terunofuji being in between the generations, so he could still capitalise further. However, having lost over a year of his career in the lower divisions, it would be even more of a triumph if he was to regain ozeki.

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Terunofuji credits supporters for igniting dramatic run to championship in comeback tourney
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Written by Kyodo
Published: 03 August 2020
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Former ozeki Terunofuji said that his remarkable comeback and subsequent victory at the July Grand Sumo Tournament would not have been possible without the help of a determined cadre of supporters.

The 28-year-old Mongolian paid his respects to those who helped him return to the sport's top makuuchi division for the first time in 14 tournaments, remarking in an online news conference that the road to winning his second title was in stark contrast to his first in 2015.

"It's totally different," Terunofuji said. "This was the result of the support from people around me. I worked hard on my own, but this happened with support. I returned to my original form, so I'm glad that led to a good result."

His only losses came against former ozeki Takayasu on Day 5 and sekiwake Shodai on Day 14, a day after he defeated newly promoted ozeki Asanoyama to claim the sole lead.

"I was happy," Terunofuji said. "To be honest, I didn't expect to win this much. I was thinking I could aim for a special prize if I got 10 wins, but I thought I just wanted to take it day by day. I had a lot of momentum because I won so much in the first half. I only won because I was riding that momentum. I think the next tournament might be tough if I don't train a little more."

By competing as a No. 17 maegashira at the July basho, Terunofuji became the first wrestler in sumo history to fall as far down as the jonidan division and climb back up to the elite makuuchi division.

The Isegahama stable grappler said he intends to get back to training from Wednesday, despite admitting his knees were nearly out of commission after 15 days of action. "I couldn't stretch (by the end of the tournament). It was hard getting up and down from the raised ring during the award ceremony."

When asked if he was aiming to return to sumo's second-highest rank, Terunofuji said, "I'm not thinking about that in particular. I'll just do whatever I can with all my power."

Terunofuji became the third wrestler on the lowest rung of the makuuchi rankings to clinch a championship, a feat last accomplished in January by Tokushoryu. He is also the first former ozeki to lift the Emperor's Cup since Kaiketsu in 1976.

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Juryo promotions and retirees after July Basho
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Written by Tachiai.org / Sumoforum.net
Published: 05 August 2020
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Chiyonokuni

As usual, the Nihon Sumo Kyokai announced the names of the rikishi that will be promoted to the Juryo Division for the next tournament. As expected, four promotions were announced.

Two out of these four rikishi are making their second-division debuts: Oki, Ms2w, 5-2 (Shikoroyama-beya), and Nishikifuji, Ms3e, 5-2 (Isegahama). Two are returning to the paid ranks: Kitaharima, Ms3w, 5-2 (Yamahibiki), and former top-division mainstay and Makushita champion Chiyonokuni, Ms12w, 7-0 (Kokonoe). Just missing out is former Komusubi Jokoryu, Ms4w, 5-2.

Reading the tea leaves, the corresponding demotions from Juryo should be J10 Asabenkei (3-12), J14 Chiyonoumi (6-9), and J13 Takagenji (6-9); the fourth slot is made available by Tochiozan’s retirement.

Quite a long list of retirees, 19 from this particular basho, plus the late Shobushi and five ex/sekitori during the extended break (quoted below).

(Heya, Age, Debut, Highest Rank)

Ms8e Kizenryu (Kise, 35, 2008.03, J11e)
Ms27e Terao (Shikoroyama, 33, 2005.01, Ms10e)
Sd23e Gochozan (Minezaki, 32, 2006.03, Ms7w)
Sd31e Aratora (Isenoumi, 28, 2015.05, Sd3e)
Sd35w Byakko (Azumazeki, 31, 2005.03, Ms13e)
Sd60w Kyokuyuko (Nakagawa, 26, 2013.01, Ms58w)
Sd64w Kurahashi (Asakayama, 23, 2016.05, Ms50w)
Sd69e Komakiryu (Kise, 35, 2008.03, Ms33w)
Sd89w Ako (Onomatsu, 27, 2008.03, Sd20w)
Sd90e Bankoku (Kise, 30, 2010.01, Ms12e)
Sd99e Kotorikuzan (Sadogatake, 26, 2009.03, Sd30w)
Jd50w Sakaefuji (Sakaigawa, 27, 2011.05, Sd72e)
Jd63w Terumichi (Isegahama, 23, 2013.03, Jd2w)
Jd95e Takamasaki (Chiganoura, 20, 2018.03, Jd21e)
Jd98e Ryuga (Nishikido, 21, 2018.09, Jd80w)
Jk5w Houn (Minezaki, 25, 2017.09, Jk3e)
Jk10w Kyokushoriki (Tomozuna, 22, 2018.03, Jk8e)
Jk12w Wakaseiun (Chiganoura, 19, 2017.03, Jd56w)
Jk30w Yamakawa (Tagonoura, 15, 2020.03, Jk30w)

Sd82w Shobushi (Takadagawa, died while active aged 28, 2007.03, Sd11e)

J2w Tochiozan - retired July 15th, now Kiyomigata-oyakata
Ms7w Toyonoshima - retired April 17th, now Izutsu-oyakata
Ms41w Sokokurai - retired March 26th, now Arashio-oyakata
Ms57e Seiro - retired July 13th
Sd4w Tokushinho - retired June 1st

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Michelle Stevens

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Ill be curious as to who from the Maegashira rank will be demoted to Juryo in September.

I did remember seeing Ichinojo on the televised show on the last day and he lost of coarse. I have missed seeing him and his style of sumo.
 
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