The 51st Annual Junior High School Championships took place in Tachikawa. It is really two tournaments in one, an individual (個人-kojin) tournament and a team (団体-dantai) competition.
The team tournament came down to Kiso, Nagano (left) against Uta City’s Kakujo (right). In the team competition, it’s a best-of-three format. On the Kakujo team, Kuraoka and Ito (#2 and #3 from the right) were undefeated through the team tournament. The link above should be cued to just before the finals bouts. The whole tournament is available on the Sumo Federation’s YouTube site. Meet the team in their Yusho Interview. I’m glad they were able to do their brand of sumo!
For the individual tournament, I have cued things up to the Finals. Ino and Nishide win their bouts and move on to the Final where Nishide easily overpowers the smaller Ino. If you’re wondering how Ino got to the Final giving up such a size disadvantage, check out the semi-final bout! Ino has skill. He gave up a considerable height and weight advantage to Sameshima. (Is his first name Kagayaki?) Judging from the tape on his shoulder/neck, it takes a lot out of you to throw these big dudes. Below, we meet Nishide Daiki in his Yusho Interview.
Tachiai looks forward to seeing these young guys advance in their careers. We may see some of them at the University or even Pro levels in the future.
The individual finalists are here with Jr High Yokozuna Nishide Daiki.
And here are the team photos for the semi-final teams. Top-left are the squad from Uta-City in Kumamoto. Congratulations to all of the winners.
Shikoroyama-beya is looking for some recruits!