Terunofuji necessary “desperate effort and hard work” to win May well tourney

A day after successful the Summertime Grand Sumo Match in a spectacular playoff, ozeki Terunofuji said Monday it took each ounce of work to claim his next straight championship.

Terunofuji retains a press meeting on Could 24, 2021, at his Isegahama stable in Tokyo. (Image courtesy of the Japan Sumo Affiliation)(Kyodo)

The 29-yr-outdated Mongolian was thrust down by fellow ozeki Takakeisho in the remaining scheduled bout of the 15-day satisfy at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan on Sunday, leaving the pair tied with a 12-3 document, demanding a playoff to determine the champion.

Terunofuji turned the tables in the unexpected-dying decider, maintaining his rival at arm’s size ahead of slapping him to the sandy surface area of the ring.

The victory gained Terunofuji his fourth Emperor’s Cup and his third considering the fact that generating a extraordinary comeback to the elite makuuchi division after plummeting as reduced as the fifth-tier jonidan division because of to a raft of wellbeing concerns which includes surgery on the two knees.

“The desperate energy that I had been placing out led to the end result. I did anything I could,” reported Terunofuji, who sealed advertising back to ozeki, sumo’s 2nd-highest rank, by winning the March match.

His visual appearance at the May possibly fulfill as an ozeki was his initially considering the fact that September 2017, a period encompassing 21 tournaments.

With yokozuna Hakuho recuperating from knee surgery, the match opened with four ozeki sharing best billing. Terunofuji clearly outshone the many others in the early phases of the satisfy, winning his to start with 10 bouts.

But he strike a hurdle on Working day 11 when he was ruled to have illegally grabbed the hair of rank-and-file opponent Myogiryu and incurred his to start with decline soon after appearing to earn the bout conveniently.


Related coverage:

Sumo: Terunofuji beats Takakeisho to acquire 4th career championship


He experienced his second defeat in a intently contested fight from No. 8 maegashira Endo on Day 14, with the ringside judges overturning an initial declaration of Terunofuji as the winner immediately after both of those wrestlers tumbled more than the straw.

The decline observed him head into a tense last day with a 12-2 document, 1 earn forward of Takakeisho and Endo.

“I had felt I couldn’t look ahead to the subsequent rank until I received a championship as an ozeki, so it was very good (to win the title in the end),” Terunofuji explained. “I just reliable my physique in the playoff bout.”

Terunofuji (L) receives the championship trophy from Hakkaku, head of the Japan Sumo Association, immediately after successful the Summer season Grand Sumo Match on its ultimate working day at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo on Might 23, 2021. (Kyodo)

Terunofuji turned the initial ozeki to gain a championship on his return to the rank considering the fact that the July 1969 introduction of the present rating system, beneath which ozeki are demoted if they article two consecutive getting rid of data.

Adhering to the victory, Terunofuji will head into the July satisfy with a opportunity for promotion to the sport’s highest rank of yokozuna. To attain the rank, an ozeki should win two consecutive championships or accomplish success deemed to be as good.

“I’ve been doing work towards that (rank), and I’m a single stage absent. I will be providing everything I have,” he explained.

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October 2021
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