Mitakeumi Captures New Year Grand Sumo Tournament


Screenshot shows sekiwake Mitakeumi giving an online press conference in Tokyo on Jan. 24, 2022. (Kyodo)

Mitakeumi defeated sumo's top wrestler, Terunofuji, Sunday on the final day of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo to capture the championship, his third career title. Mitakeumi warded off his opponent's attempted belt grab and a forearm to the face to get double underhooks and a belt grab of his own. He then proceeded to back Terunofuji out of the ring securing a 13-2 record for the event and the championship.

Terunofuji, the sport's only current yokozuna, or grand champion, had trouble with his surgically-repaired kneesthroughout the competition. Meanwhile, the win will likely earn Mitakeumi a promotion to ozeki, sumo's second highest rank.

The New Year tournament also marked the debut of Oho, the grandson of one of sumo's most legendary champions, Taiho, as the youngest competitor in the sport's top division, though he failed to achieve a winning mark with a 7-8 record.

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