Hatsu Basho 2012: Nakabi

It’s day eight and in all reality we are in a two way race for the yusho that is likely to go only one way. It may be the year of the dragon but that cat was forced to leave the building, leaving a big ol’bird named Hakuho here to clean out the record books. Baruto is of course the other contender and to be honest his first six days of sumo were lazy. The Estonian was nearly beaten by far too many maegashira rikishi. Why Baruto doesn’t use his tsupari at the tachi-ai is a mystery to me. Yesterday however was a sign of hope as he soundly walked Kakuryu out of the ring. Will either of our leaders falter? What else interesting happened today? Will you find the alliteration? All these questions and more will be answered below!

Fujiazuma vs Takanoyama

Both of these rikishi were 3-4 going in. Beanpole Takanoyama keeps finding ways to win, though it’s clear to me that his time in this division will either be limited or extremely hard fought. A guy his size can’t last any other way. Czech wins today with a lightning fast leg trip and moves to 4-4.

Tochinoshin vs Aoiyama

Tochinoshin looks to be a bit more comfortable down in the lower maegashira at 5-2. Today he face Aoiyama, the young Bulgarian who has really fallen off this basho at 1-6. The tachi-ai went to Tochinoshin here driving the rounder blue mountain back. This continued until Aoi got his groove back, I mean he got his hand on Noshin’s mawashi. After that, the younger rounder Bulgarian drove Georgian to the bales. Noshin fought with a couple of throw attempts but Aoiyama gets the win crushing Tochinoshin out of the ring. Good win for the Yama, he moves to 2-6.

Myogiryu vs Daido

Let me go on record today to answer the unasked question (I told you there would be more): my newest man crush is on Myogiryu. This guy’s footwork is incredible and his sumo is always moving forward. Daido drove the smaller Gyro back but Gyroscope keep moving his feet and was able to spin Dido around and push him out of the dohyo using the angular momentum and other scientific terms I will attempt to use to describe Myogiryu’s sumo from now on.

Takekaze vs Tochinowaka

The kid from Moriyoshi is truly a nonfactor at this rank but against young rikishi like Tochinowaka you just never know. Kaze tried all of his tricks but Tochinowaka kept his focus and legs firmly planted on the ground. Tochi #3 methodically continues to move forward to secure the win. Takekaze finds himself at 1-7 while another one of my new favorites moves to an impressive 5-3.

Miyabiyama vs Kotoshogiku

How much longer will Miyabiyama be around? He’s really the new old guy isn’t he? He’s also the second biggest nonfactor behind Takekaze this tournament. Kotoshogiku appears to be taking it to the bank now that he’s had one ok basho at Ozeki. Today’s bout hit that point home. If you are facing Jaba the one thing you should definitely expect is to be stood up and slapped down. How Kotoshogiku was not prepared for this is beyond me. The Ozeki falls to 4-4 and Yama moves to a nonfactor 2-6.

Baruto vs Kitataiki

It was all business today. Baruto makes easy work of Taiki. An even tachi-ai and then Bart found his grip and threw Kita like a garbage man throwing away the trash.

Okinoumi vs Kisenosato

Kisenosato picks up the win to move to 7-1. He had the grip and position from the start. Oki tried to get position for a long time but failed. Kise easily throws the 0-8 pretty boy to the ground. If you are concerned that his bout didn’t sound very interesting that’s because it wasn’t.

Harumafuji vs Homasho

Harry caught Homie with his head down. Harumafuji gets a gimmie slap down to move to 6-2. Homasho moves to 4-4.

Kotooshu vs Toyonoshima

Kotooshu’s nemesis Toyonoshima came to give the 6-1 Ozeki a run for his money.  Toyo does a fantastic job of deflecting the Bulgarian with his shoulder and pulling his arm to the side.  Oshu was able to separate the short man from him with a couple of tsupari. From there both men attempted to throw the other to the ground. Toyo’s headlock throw looked to be solid enough to pull out the win until Oshu got hold of Shima’s mawashi. Oshu moves to a solid 7-1.

Hakuho vs Takayasu

Word is that these two did some keiko together prior to the basho. I am a fan of Takayasu as I see him as one of those tough hardworking dudes who aren’t afraid to battle. Yasu holds off the Yokozuna for about a second with two well placed tsupari. The two continued to battle and it appeared Takayasu caught the Yokozuna again in the face, this time the nose, with a tsupari. At that point the Dai-Yokozuna began dragging Takayasu down to the ground for the win. Nice spirit from Takayasu however, he drops to a decent 4-4.

So we have Hakuho and Baruto at 8-0

Kotooshu and Kisenosato at 7-1

The Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything is still 42 and de Gama will take you beyond this day 8 report to one of the day 9 varieties. Imagine that.

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