Kyushu Basho 2019, Day 11 (November 20th, Fukuoka Kokusai Center)
[Former Ozeki] Makushita 10 Terunofuji (6-0) earns 6th straight win on day 11 of Kyushu Basho. He will face Tsushimanada (6-0) on day 13 for the Makushita championship title.
Former Ozeki, Terunofuji (27, Isegahama-beya), who has fallen to Makushita 10 after injuring both knees and suffering other medical complications, defeated Makushita 45 Hiradoumi (19, Sakaigawa-beya) by executing a kote-nage (arm-lock throw). He is set to face Tsushimanada (24, Sakaigawa-beya) on day 13 to decide the Makushita championship. A win for Terunofuji will take him to a perfect 7-0 record and secure his return to Juryo — his first time in the division since May, 2018, 10 tournaments ago.
Terunofuji was calm and collected during the match, keeping a firm grip on his 176cm tall, 112 kilo opponent. He finished the match by planting Hiradoumi into the dohyo with a hearty left-sided kote-nage, earning his 6th straight win. Much to Terunofuji’s disappointment, his new Isegahama stablemate, Midorifuji fell to Tsushimanada in the match right before his. “I absolutely cannot lose!” Terunofuji said with fighting spirit. He was able to withstand Hiradoumi’s low-to-the-ground attack. “I would have lost in the past, but I think I’m steadily developing some lower body endurance.”
Terunofuji’s spirit won’t be crushed. “I want to get back to Juryo.” he said, “I’m dead set on it. A return would be great, but if I don’t make it this time, I’ll carry my determination into the next tournament. My fans’ support is really nice.” Even though hopes have been dashed for a simultaneous promotion with Midorifuji, support for Terunofuji is still growing. Terunofuji, expressing a will to fight, “It doesn’t matter if I win or lose as long as I try my hardest. I’ll do what I can to finish strong.”