Abi Wins Historic 3-Way Playoff to Claim Sumo Championship
November 29 | 2022
In a rare three-way playoff, Abi beat out fellow wrestlers Takayasu and Takakeisho to win the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament in Fukuoka Sunday claiming the first major championship of his career. Takayasu came into the final day with a one win lead over his rivals but lost his last bout to Abi while Takakeisho defeated Wakatakakage in his last bout to force the first three-way playoff sumo has seen in 28 years.
In the round robin competition Abi opened against Takayasu sidestepping his opponent's charge and slapping him to the ground for the win. Changing tactics against Takakeisho in his next bout, Abi took to the offense charging forward and shoving the other wrestler out of the ring to claim the victory and the championship.
With the sport's lone yokozuna, Terunofuji, on the sidelines recovering from knee surgery, it was the third tournament in a row that a rank-and-file wrestler from the lowest of sumo's elite ranks claimed the championship, the first time that has happened in the sport's history.
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