Shōdai Naoya

Shōdai Naoya
正代 直也
Shodai Dohyo-iri Fukuoka 2016.jpg
Shodai in 2016
Personal information
Born Naoya Shōdai
(1991-11-05) November 5, 1991 (age 29)
Uto, Kumamoto, Japan
Height 1.84 m (6 ft 12 in)
Weight 170 kg (370 lb)
Career
Stable Tokitsukaze
University Tokyo University of Agriculture
Current rank see below
Debut March 2014
Highest rank Ōzeki (November 2020)
Championships 1 Maku'uchi
1 Jūryo
1 Makushita
1 Jonokuchi
Special Prizes Fighting Spirit (6), Outstanding Performance (1)
Gold Stars 1 (Harumafuji)
* Up to date as of 25 October 2020.

Shōdai Naoya (正代 直也, born November 5, 1991) is a Japanese professional sumo wrestler from Uto, Kumamoto. He is in the Tokitsukaze stable. He is a right hand inside-type wrestler. His highest rank is ōzeki. He has one gold star for defeating a yokozuna and seven special prizes, six for Fighting Spirit and one for Outstanding Performance. He was runner-up in two tournaments before winning his first top-division championship in September 2020.

Early life and sumo background

Shōdai Naoya’s talents were first noticed by the coach of the Uto Boys Sumo Club while he was playing sumo in the park at Uto Elementary School. In 5th grade he competed in the national sumo competition, and while at Kakujō Middle School he was an alternate member of the winning team at the All-Middle School sumo championship. In his final year at Kumamoto agricultural high school he won the youth national sumo championship.[1]

Shōdai went on to university at Tokyo University of Agriculture, where he studied international food information sciences in the international agricultural development department. He became a university yokozuna in his second year, and met the qualifications to join professional sumo at the makushita 15 rank as a tsukedashi,[2] however he gave preference to finishing school and missed the one year time limit to accept this opportunity. In his third year at university he advanced to the All-Japan sumo championship, however he lost to Endō and therefore did not attain the amateur yokozuna title that year. He also did not qualify for tsukedashi in his 4th year at university.

Career

After graduating from university, he joined the Tokitsukaze stable and entered his first tournament in March 2014. Because he missed his opportunity to start in the makushita ranks as a tsukedashi, he began in maezumo in this tournament. He lost on the 5th day to Shiba,[1] however finishing with a 2–1 record allowed him to continue to the professional ranks. In May when ranked in jonokuchi (the beginning level of professional sumo), he faced Shiba on day 5 and beat him for the first time. He went on to finish with a 7–0 record and take the jonokuchi championship.[3] This propelled him into the next higher level of sumo, jonidan, in the July tournament, where he finished with a 6–1 record, and advanced to the next higher level, sandanme in the September tournament. He faced Shiba again on day 9 and lost, however his 6–1 record was good enough to advance him to the next higher level, makushita in the November tournament. He lost his third and fourth matches in this tournament to Higoarashi and Asatenmai, however still finished with a promising 5–2 record which allowed him to advance higher up the makushita ranks. In the January 2015 tournament he was concerned that diarrhea and a bacterial infection would affect his performance,[4] however he was able to win the tournament with a perfect 7–0 record when he beat Ishiura, who was promoted to jūryō, on the last day.[5] In the next three tournaments in makushita he attained winning records and was promoted to jūryō in the September 2015 tournament.[6] He kept his family name, Shōdai, rather than change his name as most sumo wrestlers do. His stable master commented that, “It’s a good name. Not bad at all.”[7]

Later in a press conference, he made comments that were interpreted as pessimistic, and he was dubbed as a “very negative sumo wrestler.”[8][9] However, he finished his first tournament in jūryō with a strong 11–4 record. In the following tournament he improved his previous performance to 13–2, took the jūryō championship, and was promoted to the highest level of sumo, makuuchi.[10]

In the January tournament he became the 20th wrestler from Kumamoto prefecture to attain the highest rank of sumo since the end of World War II. He also became tied for third fastest wrestler to reach the highest level of sumo since 1958 (excluding tsukedashi) at only 11 tournaments.[11] As opposed to another wrestler, Kagayaki, who also was making his top level debut and earned only a 4–11 record, Shōdai earned an impressive 10–5 record, continued his streak of no losing tournaments, and also took the Fighting Spirit prize. He became number two on the all-time list for fastest attainment of a special prize at 12 tournaments since entering sumo, second only to former Yokozuna Wakanohana, who took the Fighting Spirit prize in his 9th tournament in January 1950.

In November 2016 he scored eleven wins against four losses from the rank of maegashira 3, sharing the Fighting Spirit prize with Ishiura. He defeated ozeki Kisenosato in this tournament and was promoted to a career-high rank of sekiwake for the January tournament. It took him only 17 tournaments from his professional debut to reach sekiwake, which is the second fastest (after Konishiki's 14) since the introduction of the six tournaments a year system in 1958 for those starting from maezumo.[12] He narrowly missed out on a winning record in his sekiwake debut, and remained in the junior sanyaku ranks for the following tournament at komusubi. However, he won only four bouts and was demoted back to the maegashira ranks for the May 2017 tournament. In July, ranked at maegashira 1, he earned his first kinboshi or gold star by defeating yokozuna Harumafuji on Day 2.[13] He remained near the top of the maegashira ranks in his next few tournaments. In November 2019 he was a runner-up to Hakuhō with an 11–4 record and earned the Fighting Spirit Prize by defeating Asanoyama on the final day.[14] In January 2020 he was in contention for the championship until the final day, finishing one win behind surprise winner Tokushoryu on 13-2. He also received the Fighting Spirit prize. [15] He returned to the sekiwake rank in March 2020 for the first time since January 2017, and to sanyaku for the first time since March 2017.[16] He was one of only two men to defeat the tournament winner Hakuhō in March and maintained his sekiwake rank with an 8–7 record. In the July 2020 tournament he won his fifth Fighting Spirit prize after a 11-4 performance in which he was one of only two wrestlers to defeat the tournament winner Terunofuji.[17]

In the September 2020 tournament Shōdai won his first championship with a 13–2 record, defeating Tobizaru on the final day to avoid the need for a play-off.[18] His only defeats were to the previous tournament winner Terunofuji on Day 4 and komusubi Okinoumi on Day 7. Shōdai said "I was only in the sole lead on the final day, so until then I wasn't worrying about the championship race and I felt comfortable."[19] He also earned his first Outstanding Performance Prize and sixth Fighting Spirit Prize.[18] He is the first Kumamoto Prefecture native to win a top division championship.[20]

Promotion to ōzeki

The Sumo Association announced after the September 2020 basho that they would convene an extraordinary meeting to discuss Shōdai's promotion to the second-highest rank of ōzeki. Even though he finished with 32 wins over the previous three tournaments - one short of the conventional guideline - it was decided that Shōdai's consistent performances since the November 2019 basho were enough for him to be considered for ōzeki promotion.[21] The promotion was unanimously approved on 30 September 2020.[22] In his acceptance speech, Shōdai said that he would devote himself to the way of sumo "with the spirit of utmost sincerity so as not to disgrace the name of ōzeki." He later told reporters that he was "relieved" and that he was "in a position where you are expected not to lose."[22] He is the first ōzeki from Kumamoto Prefecture since Tochihikari was promoted in 1962.[23]

Shodai had a 3–1 start in his ōzeki debut in the November 2020 tournament, but was forced to withdraw on Day 5 with an injury to his left ankle. This was the first withdrawal of his career.[24]

Fighting style

Shōdai is a yotsu-sumo wrestler who prefers grappling techniques to pushing his opponents. His favoured grip on the mawashi or belt is migi-yotsu, a left hand outside, right hand inside position. His most common winning kimarite is a straightforward yori-kiri or force out.

Career record

Shōdai Naoya [25]
Year in sumo January
Hatsu basho, Tokyo
March
Haru basho, Osaka
May
Natsu basho, Tokyo
July
Nagoya basho, Nagoya
September
Aki basho, Tokyo
November
Kyūshū basho, Fukuoka
2014 x (Maezumo) West Jonokuchi #12
7–0
Champion

 
East Jonidan #10
6–1
 
East Sandanme #48
6–1
 
East Makushita #59
5–2
 
2015 West Makushita #37
7–0
Champion

 
West Makushita #3
4–3
 
West Makushita #2
4–3
 
East Makushita #1
5–2
 
West Jūryō #12
11–4
 
West Jūryō #5
13–2
Champion

 
2016 West Maegashira #12
10–5
F
West Maegashira #6
9–6
 
East Maegashira #2
6–9
 
East Maegashira #5
9–6
 
West Maegashira #2
7–8
 
West Maegashira #3
11–4
F
2017 West Sekiwake #1
7–8
 
West Komusubi #1
4–11
 
West Maegashira #5
10–5
 
East Maegashira #1
5–10
East Maegashira #5
6–9
 
West Maegashira #7
9–6
 
2018 East Maegashira #4
7–8
 
West Maegashira #4
7–8
 
West Maegashira #4
9–6
 
East Maegashira #1
6–9
 
East Maegashira #3
6–9
 
East Maegashira #4
8–7
 
2019 East Maegashira #3
7–8
 
West Maegashira #3
5–10
 
East Maegashira #7
10–5
 
East Maegashira #3
7–8
 
West Maegashira #4
3–12
 
West Maegashira #10
11–4
F
2020 West Maegashira #4
13–2
F
West Sekiwake #1
8–7
 
East Sekiwake #1
Tournament Cancelled
0–0–0
East Sekiwake #1
11–4
F
East Sekiwake #1
13–2
OF
East Ōzeki #2
3–2–10
 
Record given as win-loss-absent    Top Division Champion Top Division Runner-up Retired Lower Divisions

Sanshō key: F=Fighting spirit; O=Outstanding performance; T=Technique     Also shown: =Kinboshi(s); P=Playoff(s)
Divisions: MakuuchiJūryōMakushitaSandanmeJonidanJonokuchi

Makuuchi ranks: YokozunaŌzekiSekiwakeKomusubiMaegashira

See also

References

  1. ^ a b ベースボール・マガジン社刊 『相撲』 2014年4月号(春場所総決算号) 107頁
  2. ^ 伏兵、正代が初の学生横綱 全国学生相撲選手権 Archived 2016-02-01 at the Wayback Machine 福井新聞 2011年11月5日(2015年2月24日閲覧)
  3. ^ 【夏場所】正代、序ノ口全勝V「目標は年内に幕下」 Archived 2015-02-24 at the Wayback Machine スポーツ報知 2014年5月23日(2015年2月24日閲覧)
  4. ^ ベースボール・マガジン社刊 『相撲』 2015年2月号(初場所総決算号) 76頁
  5. ^ 幕下優勝は元学生横綱の正代 三段目は竜電が制覇 スポニチアネックス 2015年1月23日(2015年2月24日閲覧)
  6. ^ 東農大出身の正代が新十両 秋場所番付編成会議 日刊スポーツ 2015年7月29日(2015年7月29日閲覧)
  7. ^ 大相撲秋場所番付編成会議 十両に正代ら4人 Archived 2016-01-26 at Archive.today 毎日新聞2015年7月29日 東京夕刊(2016年1月26日閲覧)
  8. ^ 正代は超ネガティブ 個性派関取が誕生 日刊スポーツ 2015年7月30日9時35分 紙面から
  9. ^ 『大相撲ジャーナル』2016年1月号22頁
  10. ^ 十両は2場所目の正代が初優勝 デイリースポーツonline 2015年11月22日(2015年11月22日閲覧)
  11. ^ "Shodai, Kagayaki enter New Year Basho with high expectations". Fight Sports. Archived from the original on 19 September 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  12. ^ "Sumo: Sekiwake debutants add contrast to New Year tourney". The Mainichi. 26 December 2016. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  13. ^ "Sumo: Takayasu plows over Ikioi for 1st win as ozeki". The Mainichi. 10 July 2017. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  14. ^ "Sumo: Hakuho puts final winning touch on 43rd championship". The Mainichi. 24 November 2019. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  15. ^ "Sumo: Tokushoryu defies odds to claim maiden title at New Year meet". Kyodo News. 26 January 2020. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
  16. ^ "2020 March Grand Sumo Tournament Banzuke Topics". Japan Sumo Association. February 2020. Archived from the original on 24 February 2020. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  17. ^ "Sumo: Shodai, Terutsuyoshi stage huge upsets on penultimate day". The Mainichi. 1 August 2020. Archived from the original on 5 August 2020.
  18. ^ a b "Shodai clinches first-ever title at Autumn Basho". Japan Times. 27 September 2020. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  19. ^ "Sumo: Shodai yet to take in reality of winning 1st title". The Mainichi. 28 September 2020. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  20. ^ "Shodai wins first sumo tournament title". NHK World - Japan. 27 September 2020. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  21. ^ "大相撲 正代の大関昇進が確実に" (in Japanese). NHK. 27 September 2020. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  22. ^ a b "Sumo: Autumn basho winner Shodai earns promotion to ozeki". Kyodo. 30 September 2020. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  23. ^ "Shodai Promoted to 2nd-Highest Sumo Rank of Ozeki". nippon.com. 30 September 2020. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  24. ^ "New ozeki Shodai pulls out of November Basho with ankle injury". Japan Times. 12 November 2020. Retrieved 12 November 2020.
  25. ^ "Sumo reference".

External links

  • Shōdai Naoya's official biography (English) at the Grand Sumo Homepage

Other Languages

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