Photo/IllutrationNo. 8 maegashira Asanoyama, right, faces off against ozeki Goeido in their bout on May 25 at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo's Sumida Ward. (Kotaro Ebara)

  • Photo/Illustraion

Unheralded Asanoyama on May 25 won the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament, a day before visiting U.S. President Donald Trump was to be seated ringside at Ryogoku Kokugikan to take in sumo bouts.

Asanoyama, 25, the No. 8 maegashira, defeated ozeki Goeido to take his record to 12-2 and become the first winner of a sumo tournament in the Reiwa Era that began on May 1. Asanoyama has never been ranked above No. 5 maegashira.

In the final bout of the day, yokozuna Kakuryu, the only wrestler who still had a chance of catching Asanoyama, lost to Tochinoshin, who feinted to one side and sent the Mongolian yokozuna tumbling to the dirt.

Asanoyama, whose real name is Hiroki Ishibashi, hails from Toyama Prefecture. He is the first wrestler from that prefecture to win a grand sumo tournament since yokozuna Tachiyama accomplished that feat in 1916.

For Tochinoshin, it was his 10th win of the tournament, and under a special rule he will be promoted back to ozeki for the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament in July. Ozeki who record two consecutive losing records are demoted to sekiwake, but can return to the ozeki rank if they garner at least 10 victories in their first tournament as sekiwake.

Tochinoshin was the last maegashira wrestler to win a sumo tournament when he took the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament in January 2018 as No. 3 maegashira.

Asanoyama is the first wrestler since Sadanoyama in 1961 to win a grand sumo tournament while never having reached a rank above maegashira. Sadanoyama went on to eventually win promotion to yokozuna.

In addition to taking in bouts on May 26, Trump is also scheduled to present a trophy to Asanoyama for winning the tournament. Police are taking special security precautions to accommodate Trump, who will be watching from "masuseki" box seats close to the dohyo.