Since we’re gonna have a bunch more mobility between Juryo and Makuuchi this basho lets take a quick look a juryo and see what the deal is down there. Toyonoshima and Okinoumi hold steady at 3-0, Tamaasuka and Shotenro hang in at 2-1, while pitiful hype-fest Goeido slips to 1-2, and Hibeekster is a even more pitiful 0-3. Newcomers to Juryo Tochinowaka and Shironoryu are also looking good at 3-0, while returnee Ryoho is at 2-1, and newbie Takarafuji remains at 1-2. On to Makuuchi…
First off Kyokunankai vs Miyabiyama. Miyabiyama may not be ozeki material anymore, but he’s a bit too good for Juryo. That was very obvious today. Although Nankai went left at the tachiai, Yama read it, put up a bit of tsuppari, then a push + pull + slap = hatakikomi. 2-1 for the gambler and 1-2 for the shinyuumaku.
Ga Ga Ma Ru. Showed his shit today in locomotive fashion. Tosanoumi never made it past the shikirisen. Three shoves and the oldest little maegashira was in the crowd. However I can see Gagamaru being weak towards lateral motion, so he’s gotta watch that.
Tamawashi v Toyozakura. Toyozakura gave a slap and dodged to the left after the tachi-ai. Looked like an attempted slap down, but Zakura saw opportunity and exchanged kimarite for the more embarrassing okuridashi. 1-3 for Zachary, whilst the Mawashi gently weeps at 0-3.
Tochinonada v Kakizoe. I would have put this in Zoe’s column, just because Nada is old and sometimes can’t deal with the speedy shit. However, Zoe came in low, looking for a grip, breaking the almost immediate left hand uwate that Nada had gotten. Nada noticed that Zoe was being too eager, so he pushed down on the younger guy’s neck to throw him of balance then gave him an okuridashi for his trouble. only 2 wins between the two of them, and none are Zoe’s.
Takekaze v Sokokurai. 1st meeting in Makuuchi for these two. The ethnic Mongolian started off with and elbow to Akita-kaze’s face, which didn’t do much. Kaze went for the hatakikomi, but Sokoku’s withstood. Soko then used the lower position provided by said hataki attempt to push Kaze up and out. Both rikishi at 2-1.
Koryu v Kasugao. Koryu opened this thing up with buckets of tsuppari, effectively denying Kasugao the grip he was looking for. After 3 or 4 failed hatakikomi attempts Kimchi managed to get a hand or two inside and work the Mongol out for the W. I was really surprised to see Kasugao give a clean tachiai, I’m so used to him pulling henkas in this type of situation.
Kotokasuga v Shimotori. Bird got an immediate right hand in, and spent a few second searching for his left hand uwate. Koto eventually gave it away and that spelled the end, the Bird marched Koto right out without a moments hesitation. 2-1 for Shimotori, Kotokasuga is winless.
Hokutoriki v Yoshikaze. Both rikishi we excited and we ended up with 2 mata’s before we got started. I guess the mata’s must have thrown Hokutoriki off, because Yoshi was able to get an inside left, with a matching outside (both beltless grips) and it was over for the Joker. Kaze 3-0, Ricky 1-2.
Kokkai v Bushuyama. We here at Sumo & Stogies appreciate all asects of sumo, so (due to this bout being kind of lame) I’m gonna give a shout out to the yobidashi for this one. Goro, よく頑張ったよ. Kokkai jumped up at the tachi-ai, and having no momentum at all made the bonehead mistake of pulling a charging Bushuyama toward him. Easy win for Dubbya. Kok – 2-1, G.W. 1-2. Bonus:Hiro Morita quote for this bout: when referring to the fact that since his neck injury Kokkai has been using the belt more adding “a repitor his game.”
Kimurayama v Tosayutaka. Hiro was full of ’em yesterday. Tosayukakka expected even the small henka to the left out of Kimura and ended this one quickly with a slap down. Kimura 2-1, Tosa 1-2.
Kitataiki v Mokonami. We end the first half with Mokonami looking like trash for the 3rd day in a row. Taiki got a deep inside position right form the get go. The Tokyo-ite’s hidari-yotsu plus his low position spelled a quick end for the tanned tiger. Kitataiki 2-1, Mokonami is winless.
Asasekiryu v Hakuba. Of course, when facing a larger guy Hakuba let out a nasty henka to the left and kept sideways pressure on Sexy. It took about 4 uwatenage attempts before the Henka-queen finally gave up on the throws and turned it into a yorikiri. Props to Asa II for resisting the throw attempts. Notice how Hiro called this a “good strategy”, but not “good sumo.”
Tokusegawa v Aminishiki. Tokusegawa’s rhythm must have been thrown off by Ami’s false start, because he let the injured M4 dictate the pace of the bout. While going for the right hand inside the Mongol fell victim to Sneaky’s katasukashi. 2-1 Sneak, vice versa for Toku.
Takamisakari v Kyokutenho. This one was over before it started. Kyokutenho is still good enough to stick around in the top half of Maegashira, but Robocop is much more suited for the lower half. Sad man got a nice left uwate and things were sealed. Goofy couldn’t even hang on at the tawara. 2-1 Goof, 1-2 Kyoku.
Kisenosato v Kotoshogiku. Both rikishi locked up at the tachi-ai. Kise getting a right hand inside left hand out and Geeku with a left hand inside. Going chest to chest like this with Geeku is dangerous, if he gets morozashi it takes a miracle to save you from that gabburiyori. In situations like this Kise needs to look into diversifying his kimarite portfolio. A throw would be nice to see from this position, lateral motion is a big weakness for the Geeku. However, this time the Kid prevailed by preventing the right hand grip and keeping Geeku on the move. Yorikiri. 2-1 for each.
Aran v Kakuryu. Right off the bat Kakuryu nabbed a maemitsu grip, and Aran answered with a double armlock whihc broke Kak’s grip. Kak was able to break the arm lock, regain maemitsu and use that low position to push the RUssian up and out. Kakuryu picks up his first win, while Aran is still searching for his.
Homasho v Kotooshu. Little bit of harite at the tachi-ai from the Ozeki. The two seperated and Oshu used Homasho’s tendancy to come in low with 2 or the massive (and audible) slaps to Hatakikomi our Cigar Store Indian to the clay. 3-0, 0-3.
Harumafuji v Tochinoshin. Without a doubt the best bout of the day. Probably the tournament. Nice chikarazumo bout. Enormous tachi-ai by both rikishi. After locking up Harumafuji went for 2 big right hand shitate attempts, but Noshin used his massive lower body and good balance to prevent them, at the second attempt Noshin tried to counter with a left hand uwate throw, but it was Harry’s turn to resist. After the throwing attempts Noshin finally got the migiyotsu he was searching for and used a big tsuridashi attempt to throw Harumafuji’s balance off, then segued perfectly into a yorikiri. At 1:15, Hiro Morita called this one a “War of Attrition.” Tomorrow’s bout between Noshin and Kotooshu looks like it’ll be a good one. Great sumo by both rikishi. 3-0 Georgia, 2-1 Mongolia.
Kaio v Tochiozan. Big henka from Ozan to the right followed by the immediate oshidashi. When asked in the interview room about his tactics, Ozan commented that he was tired of getting slapped down right at the start by Kaio. Not sure if this was sekiwake sumo, but he got the win. Both are at 2-1.
Baruto v Tokitenku. Pretty much the same as Gagamaru’s bout. 3 shoves and this one was over. Baruto 2-1 Tenku 0-3.
Hakuho v Wakanosato. As has been said before Wakanosato has the best record against Hakuho of any rikishi out there. at 9 losses 6 wins. Those wins however were back from when Hakuho was a sekiwake. The last 9 were all Hakuho… make that 10. Hakuho got inside with the right, pivoted slightly nailed the left hand uwate and it was over in a few seconds.
That’s 50 consecutive wins for Hakuho. 4 more to pass Chiyonofuji and 20 to pass Futabayama. 69 is the all time best (that’s what she said) and Hakuho is the 69th Yokozuna, coincidence?
My consecutive streak ends here though you can look forward to mañana with de Gama.
click here to watch the NHK update video of Hakuho’s 50th win, and the Tochinoshin v Harumafuji bout.