Kakizoe currently in Juryo, is struggling in a big way. Spark Plug looks to be heading down to Makushita. He’s currently 4-10. Young Brazilian Kaisei get’s his eighth win on day 13, but unfortunately loses today. Look for him next basho in the Makuuchi.
Alright enough with the updates, let’s get to the Day 14. Technically we still had a yusho race going with Okinoumi trailing by one, and Kotoshogiku needing the Yokozuna to drop his last two bouts to still have a shot. A shot in the dark you say?
Trust me. I don’t disagree. What I am pleased about however is that a prediction of mine has come to fruition. You may recall how I after seeing Okinoumi’s tachi-ai after Day 1 that I thought this was a different rikishi from the one who had been demoted after the gambling scandal. regardless of the outcome today against Kisenosato, I foresee this guy making some waves this year.
Georgian, Kokkai faced off against Mokonami today. Mokonami wins the tachi-ai, gets a solid position and easily overpowers Kokkai. Unfortunately for the Georgian his fate has likely been sealed in an envelope. The contents? A nonstop ticket back to Juryo. I hope he can recover, but I am not all that confident he will.
Shotenro gets slapped down by Wakakoyu today. In a common theme for a lot of today’s bouts, Wakakoyu simply stands the Mongol up with a barrage of tsupari before slapping him down. Waka get’s his 8 today.
Juryo’s very own Takayasu took on Shimotori from Niigata. The youth wins out here. Takayasu is a pusher thruster by the looks of it. Yasu flies out of the tachi-ai and lets loose a E. Honda super tsupari attack. He follows this up with a well placed pull down for the victory. Takayasu moves to 8-6. Niigata moves to a dismal 2-12.
Miyabiyama gets a win today over Toyozakura, but man Jaba doesn’t look to hot this basho. Slow tachi-ai but Yama is still able to pull off the push up and pull down move that has been his bread and butter for a while now. He moves to 5-9.
Takamisakari took on Kotokasuga. Robocop was sitting at 6-7 while Kotokasuga was inversely 7-6. Simply put: Takamisakari was man handled today after his usual pump up routine. Kotokasuga did a great job of standing Misakari up and following through by getting his arms in the Aomori natives arm pits, for the yorikiri win.
I thought we might have a repeat of Day 12’s Wakakoyu vs Tokitenku shenanigans when Sokokurai and Kitataiki stepped up to the dohyo. These two stared each other down for what seemed to me like an eternity. Neither appeared to be in any rush to start the bout and finally Kitataiki stood up to restart the process. This happened again and then finally the two men clashed with a pretty even tachi-ai. Kitataiki had a much strong grip however. When the two rikishi reached the side of the dohyo Sokokurai tried desperately to pull a throw. Kitataiki was not to be denied though and easily forces Sokokurai out of the ring. He moves to 8-6
Tochinonada was pulled and then forced out of the ring by Akita’s finest. Takekaze stays alive at 7-7.
Hakuba uses a nice harite to gain a decent position over Tosayutaka. The Mongol seals the deal with a maki-kai to complete an athletic sukuinage. Hakuba get’s his eight today.
All I can say about Goeido, is that it will be nice having him back a little closer to his actual rank in Osaka. He faced Tokitenku today and the bout puzzled me. Toki did a great job of keeping Goeido away from him but at the same time, allowed himself to be forced out with very little effort.
Georgian #1 vs Georgian #2
Tochinoshin has looked awful this entire basho and the tachi-ai here didn’t look much better. Gagamaru easily gained a better position. When the two rikishi reached the bales however Tochinoshin was able to easily overpower the rounder Maru for the shitagenagi.
Another one of my favorites, Tokusegawa faced Toyonoshima today. At M4 Tokusegawa is proving he has the stuff of champions. The Mongolian was 8-5 going in and I won’t be surprised if he continues to make moves upward throughout the year. He dominated this match today until the final moments. Toku’s big mistake was to not gain any sort of grip on the smaller Toyonoshima. The Danny DeVito of Sumo simply slips to the side as Tokusegawa fell flat on his face. Toyo moves to 7-7 while Tokusegawa falls to 8-6.
Kisenosato is out of the yusho race, but ironically enough, he would essentially play a big role in its continuation today against Okinoumi. A win for Okinoumi would mean the yusho race would definitely end on Senshuraku while a loss basically meant it was all over. Great tachi-ai by both young rikishi. Kisenosato just over powers the less experienced Pretty Boy with the yorikiri.
Harumafuji did just what most of us would expect against Kotoshogiku. The Mongolian was yet again dominated straight out of the ring by the Sekiwake. My patience has worn thin for this Ozeki.
Kaio faced Oshu in a match that I was curious about, only because I thought Oshu might finally get it together this basho. Kaio grabs the Bulgarians arm and easily wins by Kotonage. Kotooshu has loss four of his last five matches.
Finally Hakuho and Baruto went head to head. A win would seal this basho up and give Hakuho his 18th Yusho of all-time. Murray Johnson mentioned today that Hakuho is actually faster out of the blocks than Usain Bolt. If true, it gives you an idea of current Yokozuna’s athleticism. Baruto is no chump either. Today’s bout was an exciting one. Hakuho gained the upper hand at the tachi-ai getting his left hand grip. Baruto drove the Yokozuna back to the bales however and the Yokozuna was force to regroup. Hakuho managed to work his way back into the center of the dohyo. Baruto attempted a throw but failed. Then as if Baruto was a light-weight Hakuho quickly adjusted his arm under Baruto’s armpit and threw him to the dirt for his 18th Yusho. The move was so fluid I think it caught everyone off guard.
Congrats to Hakuho, that was something else.
Now de Gama’s got your back for Senshuraku, but before I sign off a quick word about these two birds.
Now one can’t take anything away from that scowl, but seriously, I don’t think these birds really fit our (sumo fan’s) target demographic. Even if they are directed at kids (which they are), I just wonder if these birds are going to work. What do you think about them (contributors, viewers, random visitors)? I sure hope they haven’t been to any of the S & S Basho’s.