At 6′ 1″ and 280 lbs, the 25-year old Mongolian Davaanyam Byambadorj would be a big man in most places. But in the world of sumo, those figures make him one of the smallest wrestlers at the highest level. He used to fight under the name Ama but recently changed his ring name to Harumafuji when he was promoted to ozeki, the sport’s second-highest rank. He has been one of our favourite rikishi for several years, and last night he beat off all-comers to win his first Emperor’s Cup!
At the beginning of the night, Harumafuji and yokozuna Hakuho led the pack with 13 wins and 1 loss. In the evening’s penultimate scheduled bout, Harumafuji defeated ozeki Kotooshu to ensure himself at least a playoff. In the last scheduled bout, the two yokozuna faced off, with Hakuho finally overcoming Asashoryu to set up the playoff. After a brief rest, Harumafuji and Hakuho came together in a climatic battle. It was a great bout culminating in Harumafuji throwing Hakuho into the dirt.
Harumajufi (then called Ama) debuted at the highest level in 2004. He instantly became our favourite with his “small” size and seemingly happy attitude to the whole thing. It is great to see him take the ultimate prize!