Ichinojo claimed his maiden Emperor’s Cup at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament on Sunday, winning his final match against fellow rank-and-filer Ura before the joint overnight leader, lone yokozuna Terunofuji, lost to ozeki Takakeisho.
The two Mongolian-born contenders were deadlocked at 11-3 entering the final day of the 15-day tournament at Dolphins Arena, where a succession of wrestlers had been forced to withdraw from competition by the coronavirus.
No. 2 maegashira Ichinojo advanced to 12-3 by forcing out No. 3 Ura, who finished with a 7-8 record. Ichinojo snared the skillful ring technician at the jump with an outside belt grip and maneuvered him over the straw.
Ichinojo earned his third Outstanding Performance Award after racking up wins at the 15-day meet against Terunofuji, Takakeisho and ozeki Mitakeumi (2-5-8), who later withdrew due to COVID-19.