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FUKUOKA, JAPAN – While it came down to the last bout on the last day of this month’s 15-day tournament, Takakeisho wraps up the 2018 sumo year with his first top-level championship earlier this week.
Takakeisho led the way for most of the tournament before falling to ozeki Takayasu on the second to last day of the tournament, putting both rikishi at 12-2.
Thus, the yusho came down to the performances of both rikishi, and if both won or lost their bouts, a playoff would be needed to break the deadlock.
Takakeisho was the first among the pair to fight, taking on Nishikigi in the 15th match of the day. There, Nishikigi quickly pushed Takakeisho to the edge of the ring before Takakeisho recovered, moving back to the middle and getting around Nishikigi, slapping his upper back and sending him down.
Yakayasu had to wait for the day’s final bout, facing off against Mitakeumi. After several minutes trapped in a grapple, Miktakeumi threw Yakayusu down, handing the championship to Takakeisho.
Although this is the first championship at the top Makuuchi division for Takakeisho, it marks the fourth overall in his professional career. With the win, he becomes the first komusubi to win the yusho since Kaio in 2000.
He also earned the Outstanding Performance Award and Fighting Spirit Prize, the third and second time he has earned those awards at a tournament respectively.