May 25, 2019: Grand Sumo Tournament winner Asanoyama received his first Emperor’s Cup trophy. The No. 8 maegashira, who debuted in the elite makuuchi division in 2017, became the first rank-and-file wrestler since 1961 to win a grand tournament before first having reached the three sanyaku ranks below yokozuna. It is the first time that a United States President gave the trophy at a sumo match. Donald Trump was on a business trip to Japan – how amazing it is to see him participating in sumo. You might think sumo is just a laughable event for Americans, like that fat wrestler in WWE. There is just so much comedy about it, isn’t there. These wrestlers are just enormously fat, like 400 pounds or 500 pounds. Asanoyama Hideki is 177 kg (390 lb). His height is 1.87 m (6 ft 1 1/2 in). He was born in Hiroki Ishibashi March 1, 1994 Toyama Prefecture, Japan. The 25-year-old grappler never thought he would win a championship within three years of his debut.
Asanoyama, born Hiroki Ishibashi, also made history by winning the first grand tournament of Japan’s new Reiwa imperial era. He finished the 15-day meet at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan with a 12-3 record after losing to komusubi Mitakeumi on the final day of the tournament. The attendance of U.S. President Donald Trump was a major event itself – the number of security guards was huge for this. Trump entered with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. This brought the arena to a standstill before Asanoyama’s bout with Mitakeumi. The U.S. President announced in April he would deliver the trophy in person during his four-day state visit.
After enjoying the great win, Asanoyama will shift his focus to the July 7-21 Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament at Dolphins Arena. This is where he is likely to fight as a sanyaku wrestler for the first time. The wrestler will have to go through difficult preparations for this. He wants to get even more wins on his record.