If there was ever a doubt that winning, records, and weekends matter in Sumo, day seven at the Kokugikan in Tokyo would definitely make that point clear, with its first sold out show of this Aki Basho. Dai-Yokozuna, Sho Hakuho was set to surpass Chiyonofuji Yokozuna to become second all-time in consecutive wins at 54! Would he do it? Read on to find out!
Juryo #1 Goiedo made a trip up to his old stomping grounds to face off against Makuuchi newcomer, Kyokunankai. The soon to be Prodigal Son made quick work of Kyokunankai with a slapping attack that ended in a hatakikomi. Goeido moves to 5-2 while the new comer moves one step closer to one way ticket back to Juryo at 2-5.
Goodness gracious did Sokukorai give Kakizoe a send off today. Kakizoe started out with a missed a tachi-ai harite. This opened the Flash up as the Inner Mongolian from China stood him up. With an outside right-hand grip Sokokurai literally lifted up Kakizoe for a body slam like throw known as a tsuriotoshi. Impressive win for an impressive new comer in Sokokurai. Looking forward to seeing what else this guy is able to pull off this basho.
Akita’s only Makuuchi Son was saved by his footwork today. Toyozakura was in charge from the word go. Takekaze was able to deny the M17 a solid grip however, and while Takekaze was being pushed around the dohyo he managed to pull off a tsukiotoshi thanks to his quick moving feet. The Kaze moves to 5-2.
Tamawashi is getting back to what he does best. Running guys over with his pushing attack. Today he easily defeated his fellow Mongolian, Koryu with a tsukitaoshi. Imagine a monster truck running into a ford focus and you’ll get the general idea of what this match looked like.
Gagamaru was up against soon to be former Aki Basho Co-Leader, Yoshikaze. Surprisingly Yoshi lives to see another day on the leader board. After a heated tachi-ai Cappuccino was able to quickly get out of the way to watch Lady Gaga fall to the ground.
The People’s Champion, Bushuyama faced off against Niigata’s Favorite, Shimotori. Yet again, this match looked as though Bushy was in control but unfortunately for the Aomori native Shimotori was able to turn the table with a shitatenage.
Kitataiki faced off against Kimurayama. Things started off with Kimurayama getting a tachi-ai nodowa. Kitataiki looked to have taken over after removing the neck hold but Kimurayama held him off enough to keep Kitataiki off his belt. Kimurayama moves quickly to his left for a pull down win. Kitataiki was clearly upset about this loss and I don’t blame him. He shouldn’t be losing matches like this one.
Robocop and the Secretary faced off in an exciting bout. A year ago, I would say Takamiskari would have finished this bout off with a win but today is a different story. Asasekiryu withstands multiple throw attempts by the Aomori native and turns Robo around at the rice bales to get the win. Nice bout.
Wakanosato was out of the tachi-ai like lightening. I mean that was surprising. He follows up with a tsupari attack but Sekiwake Tochiozan was able to withstand both unharmed. From there Tochiozan simply moved the older Wakanosato out of the dohyo, despite Wakanosato’s pull down attempts. Sekiwake doing what he’s meant to do moving to 6-1.
Kotooshu faced off against Kyokutenho. The Bulgarian Ozeki was at 6-0, which made me think he might lose his focus today against the veteran Mongolian. Both rikishi got nice outside grips but Big-O was able to force Kyokutenho out. Awkward win for the Ozeki but he’ll take it I am sure.
Harumafuji was up against fellow Mongolian Kakuryu. Great tachi-ai by both rikishi, followed by a spirited tsupari exchange. The Komusubi and Ozeki locked up and to my surprise Kakuryu pulled off an amazing uwateheneri throw. If you are like me and curious what that kind of throw looks like click here. Kakuryu moves to 4-3, with his first win against Ama in the last eight bouts.
Ozeki Kaio is hurting here in Tokyo. At 3-3 after six days I do wonder if we’ll see him again in Kyushu. Well today Kotoshogiku took Kaio out with ease. At 3-4 during his easy week, I will be shocked if he even makes it through this basho. Props to him as this may be my last report before he retires.
Baruto made Tochinoshin look like a light-weight today. Great nodowa attack from Baruto and finishes the Georgian off with a hearty push to send him out of the dohyo. Baruto is 6-1 and appears to have recovered from his early loss to Kisenosato.
Now the match we have all been waiting for! The Kid vs. The Great Yokozuna! When I signed up for this day, I had forgotten that it was the day Hakuho may potentially pass Chiyonofuji. When I was reminded of this fact earlier in the week, I began thinking hard about how I could honor this moment for Yokozuna. I cannot even begin to imagine the pressure the Great Yokozuna was facing. Not only was he up for his fifty four win in a row but he had to get it from a guy he’d beaten ten times straight. Now for anyone who’s been a competitive athlete, you know the pressure that comes along once you start consistently beating an opponent. It is all too easy to let up and lose focus. I guess that’s why Sho Hakuho is who he is though, eh. The man is focused and tough. It was an epic match and one deserving of this day. Kisenosato fought hard and had at least one pull down chance to take this one away from the Yokozuna. In the end however the Yokozuna was able to pull off the oshidashi win over the Ibaraki native. Congrats to Hakuho, his family, and to Sumo in general. Today was a ray of light amongst the dark storms that have been 2010 for sumo. Here’s to a competitive basho to the final day and for at least a few more bright spots along the way.
Insert your favorite Lost reference here: Chalmers is taking you into uncharted day 8 waters tomorrow.