Sumo’s three Mongolian yokozuna had convincing wins on Sunday as the 15-day New Year Grand Sumo Tournament got under way before Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.
Kakuryu, who won his third career title in the most recent November tourney, was never troubled against Tochinoshin, latching onto a left overarm belt hold before sending the Georgian komusubi sprawling with a pulling throw for his 20th win in their career 21 meetings.
Fit-again Hakuho, looking to add to his record 37 championships, would have expected a tougher challenge from Shodai, but the new sekiwake was too passive on the tachiai. Hakuho’s charge easily stood Shodai up and as he teetered, the yokozuna pulled him forward to defeat.
Source: Japan Times