Sign in to follow this  
Eikokurai

Grand Slams in Ozumo

Recommended Posts

The skill level required is the same of course but the mental task is greater and the physical requirements to have your body at top shape for longer means it’s simply more difficult.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all: great topic! Thanks!

As mentioned above Hatsu is the thoughest tournament to win for career grand slam holders. 

It's also striking that Kyushu has only been won 9 times in total by the 'non career grand slam holders with atleast four yusho'. For comparison Haru has been won 21 times by the same group, Natsu 20, Aki 20, Nagoya 17 and Hatsu 16 times. 

 

 

 

Edited by Gooner

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 21/07/2021 at 09:37, Kuhne said:

The reason why a calendar year slam (in any sport where it can happen) is considered a special achievement compared to winning all tournaments in different years is simple.

the calendar year slam is harder to achieve. That’s all.

You need to be on your game in the first tournament of the year and keep the level throughout. If you mess up you won’t be able to try again until next year, as opposed to career  slams where you can start over next tournament. 
 

got the flu on January? There goes the calendar year slam, better luck next year.

tennis has the golden slam which means you also won the Olympic gold medal that year, which is obviously harder for obvious reasons, only one player has achieved that. 
 

but novak is on track this year…

In tennis, the main reason for the Grand Slam to follow the calendar year is that until 1985, the Australian Open was taking place at the end of the year and many athletes would not travel to Australia that was too far away (especially if they were not on track for the Grand Slam or even the Career Slam). Things started to change in the early 80s and the AO was moved to January in 1987 (hence no AO in 1986).

I also think that what gives more value, in many people's eyes, to a calendar year Grand Slam is that you don't get to choose the right moment for you. It is like winning the Olympics. Great champions may have won races and set records throughout their careers but many will be happy to win only one race if it is at the Olympics.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent thread! Here we can see seasonal trends with the yusho count and the yokozunas. If one has more time, one can do similar exercise with win-loss stats of every rikishi to check their seasonal performance. Just saying ;-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thing about tennis and golf grandslams is that the different venues have a very significant effect. That's not the same for Sumo and I'm not sure the concept travels very well because of it. Consecutive wins is the big number for Sumo, IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, nagora said:

The thing about tennis and golf grandslams is that the different venues have a very significant effect. That's not the same for Sumo and I'm not sure the concept travels very well because of it. Consecutive wins is the big number for Sumo, IMO.

Sumo venues may not vary as much as the courts of tennis, it's true, but it's often said that the Nagoya basho is uncomfortably hot and this affects the rikishi's performance. Whether that's the venue itself or just the time of year is hard to say, but it seems safe to state that competing there is a different beast to Tokyo in January. You could also argue that the 'away' basho are different in that rikishi sleep in unfamiliar beds instead of walking up the street from their heya every day. I'd wager most rikishi are more comfortable competing in the familiar surroundings of the Kokugikan, other than those few who enjoy home-crowd support when in Osaka (e.g. Goeido), Fukuoka (e.g. Kotoshogiku) or Nagoya.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Eikokurai said:

You could also argue that the 'away' basho are different in that rikishi sleep in unfamiliar beds instead of walking up the street from their heya every day. I'd wager most rikishi are more comfortable competing in the familiar surroundings of the Kokugikan, other than those few who enjoy home-crowd support when in Osaka (e.g. Goeido), Fukuoka (e.g. Kotoshogiku) or Nagoya.

That's not an isolable effect against golf or tennis, to be fair. It could equally be said that tennis players or golfers sleep in unfamiliar hotels and beds, deal with different styles of food, and are presumably more comfortable in courses or courts similar to those they are used to playing in and have home crowd support at.

What is isolable, however, is the effect of upping sticks and temporarily moving every other basho, which I would think is surely more pronounced on lower division rikishi. They have to contend with the brunt of the moving of the heya itself. Surely the sekitori privileges extend to not needing to go with the heya to the lodgings at exactly the same time, or doing the bulk of the grunt work and setup.

Edited by Seiyashi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ll update the tables when I can, but for the time being just a comment to note that Terunofuji has now completed his ‘venue grand slam’. His yusho this November was his first in Fukuoka, so he has at least one yusho in each of the four host cities.

If he wins again in January he will become the 11th man to get the ‘career grand slam’, having won all other basho from Haru to Kyushu. If he manages it, it will be joint second fastest in terms of how many overall yusho it took him to complete the set. Both Kitanofuji and Hakuho also took got the set of six in seven yusho. Terunofuji has so far only doubled up yusho in the May tournament.

Edited by Eikokurai
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Eikokurai said:

I’ll update the tables when I can, but for the time being just a comment to note that Terunofuji has now completed his ‘venue grand slam’. His yusho this November was his first in Fukuoka, so he has at least one yusho in each of the four host cities.

If he wins again in January he will become the 11th man to get the ‘career grand slam’, having won all other basho from Haru to Kyushu. If he manages it, it will be joint second fastest in terms of how many overall yusho it took him to complete the set. Both Kitanofuji and Hakuho also took got the set of six in seven yusho. Terunofuji has so far only doubled up yusho in the May tournament.

I like how prior to his ozeki return we were all thinking he's going to be severely damaged and good for a couple more yusho, yet he's already on 6 yusho by now. And beyond just the career grand slam, he even looks like an odds-on favourite to both complete a calendar slam in 2022 and tie Musashimaru for third-most accomplished foreign yokozuna as well. Power aside, no one in makuuchi can quite match him for consistency over 15 honbasho days; it's very difficult to see anyone really playing spoiler to a whole series of 13-2s.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Seiyashi said:

I like how prior to his ozeki return we were all thinking he's going to be severely damaged and good for a couple more yusho, yet he's already on 6 yusho by now. And beyond just the career grand slam, he even looks like an odds-on favourite to both complete a calendar slam in 2022 and tie Musashimaru for third-most accomplished foreign yokozuna as well. Power aside, no one in makuuchi can quite match him for consistency over 15 honbasho days; it's very difficult to see anyone really playing spoiler to a whole series of 13-2s.

He has the potential to win all six but it’s unlikely just from the perspective of mathematical possibility. It only takes one dropped basho, and if he wins all six that will actually break the record for most consecutive yusho, having won the final two in 2021. Asashoryu and Hakuho both managed seven in a row. I can see Teru dropping at least one next year, just out of exhaustion or injury.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Updates:

  • Hakuho to 45 yusho total, 8 for Nagoya; asterisk removed to show he's no longer active
  • Terunofuji to 6 yusho total and moved up, bold to indicate completion of 'venue grand slam'

a%3E

a%3E

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Eikokurai said:

Asashoryu and Hakuho both managed seven in a row.

Yeah there's a reason no one has managed 8, including two very dominant yokozuna at their peaks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 03/12/2021 at 08:33, Eikokurai said:

Terunofuji to 6 yusho total and moved up, bold to indicate completion of 'venue grand slam

Mild nitpick, but this came to me after NHK's commentary today: can Terunofuji truly be considered to have completed the venue grand slam? His sole July basho win was in 2020, when it was held in Tōkyō; NHK points out that he has yet to win in Nagoya itself.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

Mild nitpick, but this came to me after NHK's commentary today: can Terunofuji truly be considered to have completed the venue grand slam? His sole July basho win was in 2020, when it was held in Tōkyō; NHK points out that he has yet to win in Nagoya itself.

Damn. Good fact checking. I’ll have to asterisk that one when I get a chance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this