Only 4 months ago, the sumo world celebrated Tochinoshin‘s monumental achievement. Battling back from a knee injury that could have ended his career he achieved the rarified rank of Ozeki with an impressive 37 wins over 3 consecutive tournaments. Sadly, his first tournament as Ozeki ended prematurely when he injured a big toe, and found he could no longer transmit power to ground. Tochinoshin finished Nagoya with 5 wins, and is now facing his first tournament as a kadoban Ozeki.
Just after his promotion, a post on this site detailing concerns over Tochinoshin’s unpredictable performance collected a good number of unhappy responses from readers and Tochinoshin fans. In that post, the case was made that Tochinoshin is perhaps the most fierce man in sumo – when he is healthy. But historically, consistent performance has been elusive for him. With the Aki basho just days away, Tochinoshin is employing his considerable work ethic to drive himself to be ready to compete, even though he continues to cite problems with his feet.
On Tuesday, Tochinoshin faced Ozeki hopeful Mitakeumi, along with Aoiyama and Tochiozan in a joint training session, engaging in an impressive 26 bouts. His record at the end of the day was a respectable 15-11. For Tochinoshin, it’s just another day of sumo. He has always shown that he is willing to train harder, to work longer than almost anyone. He is driven to succeed.
Team Tachiai is looking forward to seeing him back in action at Aki, and we hope that he clears his Kadoban status quickly and decisively.