Sumo / Basho Reports

Harumafuji ends two-year title drought

Kyodo

Mongolian yokozuna Harumafuji captured his seventh career title in his comeback from injury, despite a final-day defeat at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Sunday.

Harumafuji (13-2) looked like he had squandered his chance of winning the championship in regulation when he got blasted out by ozeki Kisenosato (10-5) in the day’s penultimate bout at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.

But Hakuho (12-3), the only other wrestler left in the title race, missed the chance to force a championship playoff when he was forced out by fellow Mongolian yokozuna Kakuryu (9-6) in the last match of the 15-day basho.

The championship title was the first in two years for Harumafuji, who missed the entire Autumn Basho in September and most of the Nagoya tournament in July due to a right elbow injury.

“I wanted to win the championship with a victory but I am happy I could respond to expectations of the fans (over the course of the tournament),” said Harumafuji.

Hakuho, who was also coming back from injury, blew a great chance to capture a record-extending 36th Emperor’s Cup, finishing on a three-bout losing streak.

Yoshikaze (8-7) took the Technique Prize for the second tournament in a row.

In September, Yoshikaze beat both Hakuho and Kakuryu as well as two ozeki and was awarded both the Outstanding Performance Prize and the Technique Prize.

No Outstanding Performance Prize was awarded for the first time in three tournaments.

In other bouts, Goeido sent sekiwake Tochiozan (8-7) to the dirt with a headlock throw to retain his ozeki status.

Ozeki Terunofuji beat No. 6 maegashira Kotoyuki (8-7) and finished with a 9-6 mark.

Georgian komusubi Tochinoshin (7-8) overpowered seventh-ranked Kyokushuho (9-6), but struggling sekiwake Myogiryu’s (2-13) tournament hit a fresh nadir as he was shoved down by popular rikishi Endo (4-11).