Completing a tournament of firsts, No. 1 maegashira Daieisho clinched his maiden top-division championship Sunday at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament with a victory over fellow rank-and-file grappler Okinoumi.
Daieisho finished the 15-day tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan — the first to be held under a state of emergency — with a 13-2 record after coming into the final day with a one-win lead over ozeki Shodai.
Knowing a win against No. 5 Okinoumi (7-8) would deliver him the championship, Daieisho got it done against another former sekiwake. Daieisho seized the advantage from the jump, hitting home first and propelling Okinoumi back and out with a series of blows to the throat.
“It’s a sheer joy. I’m so pleased,” Daieisho said after receiving the Emperor’s Cup. “I didn’t know it was that heavy so I was shocked, but I’m really happy.”
“I knew the only way forward was to wrestle in my style so I went into the match without hesitation, determined to have no regrets afterward.”