Sansho Special Prizes Awarded for Kyushu Basho

With senshuraku underway, the sansho selection committee has announced the special prize recipients for the 2017 Kyushu basho. Unsurprisingly, both Hokutofuji and Okinoumi received awards for their tremendous performances, taking home the technique and fighting spirit prizes respectively.

The outstanding performance prize was awarded to Takakeisho for defeating two Yokozuna and one Ozeki. Takaksisho now has three sansho to his name, as he won his first outstanding performance prize in September and the fighting spirit prize in March.

Finally, everyone’s favorite uncle, Aminishiki, can earn a fighting spirit prize if he gets his kachi koshi in his day 15 match with Chiyoshoma. This would be his tenth career sansho prize and his second in the fighting spirit category. It has been a pleasure to watch Aminishiki perform his crafty brand of sumo at the ripe old age of 39, and I’m sure I’m not alone in hoping he can get his eighth win and take home the hardware!

Uncle Sumo has his kachi koshi and will receive the kanto-sho prize for fighting spirit!!! Viewers can look forward to more of Aminishiki at the 2018 Hatsu basho.

Terunofuji Yusho!!! New Ozeki!!! Fighting Spirit (Kanto-Sho)!!!

No playoff! Harumafuji got his first win over Hakuho since last year, and it was brilliant! Hakuho was SO CLOSE to forcing a playoff with a quick yorikiri win but Harumafuji used all his strength and guile on the edge to regain position and eventually get the thrilling yoritaoshi victory to the delight of the crowd. Admittedly, there will be a bit of an asterisk on this yusho as Terunofuji did not have to face Harumafuji, Kakuryu, or Goeido. Terunofuji was dominant against Aoiyama…but he’d have his hands full with a healthy Goeido, his stablemate Harumafuji, or the injured Kakuryu. Hakuho is still the superzuna, his 35th title merely delayed.

Imagine this, an ozeki (champion) who has actually won a yusho! Kisenosato and Goeido get their credit on this one, taking down Hakuho in turn. Hakuho, Harumafuji, and Kisenosato tie for second. Kotoshogiku rightfully kadoban. Kisenosato, despite wrestling for only pride as Terunofuji’s previous win already nullified hopes of a massive playoff, finished off the ineffective Kotoshogiku.

Filling out the sanyaku banzuke will be interesting. With Terunofuji’s promotion, I’m guessing Ichinojo and Tochiozan move to sekiwake with their winning records. Takarafuji and Tochinoshin deserve komusubi slots with their 9-6 records. The question will be whether Myogiryu drops out of the sanyaku with his 7-8 record, or if he’s given a third komusubi slot. His 7 wins included victories over Harumafuji, Kisenosato, and Ichinojo.

Hakuho’s 34th Emperor’s Cup!

It’s good to have a tournament be decided on the last day during the last match between the yokozuna. Today, Terunofuji did his part. After the big win yesterday against Ichinojo to keep the pressure on, he was able to throw Goeido, setting up Harumafuji. Harumafuji needed to beat Hakuho to force a play-off between Terunofuji and Hakuho but he couldn’t seal the deal. With a yorikiri pushout victory over his yokozuna compatriot, Hakuho notched another tournament victory.

For the outstanding efforts of the tournament, during his sanyaku debut, Terunofuji secured two special prizes: Outstanding Performance and Fighting Spirit. It is his first Outstanding Performance award but his second Fighting Spirit prize. I’m just still a bit sad that Aminishiki couldn’t get the Technique prize as he’d had to pull out of the tournament with injury.

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