Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Day 11 of the Hatsu Basho 2012. Today is set to be a very exciting day of sumo. With the surprise, and 100% legit, loss from Hakuho yesterday to the hands of Kakuryu, the race for the yusho has really and truly been opened up. The situation as it stands now sees Baruto balancing on top with a perfect record, being chased at the heels by Hakuho and Kisenosato with one loss a piece. And the highlight bout today will see Hakuho take on Kisenosato, and also Baruto will take on Harumafuji who holds a slight edge. NHK opened their coverage with the replay of Baruto’s win followed by Hakuho’s loss from yesterday. Then they went on to show the last 6 meetings between Kisenosato and Hakuho. Wow they have had some very entertaining fights! Let’s see what happens today…
Takanoyama vs. Tosayutaka
At M14 Takanoyama could use a few more wins to ensure he stays up in the top division for another basho. Today was his 3rd time to meet Tosayutaka, one win a piece in the record books. Takanoyama gets completely manhandled at the tachi-ai, and after wrapping him up headed for the edge. But with an excellently timed “Ama” styled utchari (backward pivot throw) to flip Tosayutaka over and touch down a fraction before the much smaller man. Taka moves to 5-6.
Yoshiazuma vs. Sagatsukasa
Saga hit as hard as he could at the start, but it was all completely absorbed by Yoshiazuma who casually stepped back and with a gentle pull on the back of Saga’s head, drops him to at his feet.
Nionoumi vs. Sadanofuji
There is a first time for everybody, and for these two, today was just that. Nionoumi is desperately trying to avoid heading back to Juryo. At M16 a 3-7 record really doesn’t suggest that he will be around for very long. Sadanofuji had a nice tachi-ai, launching a very nice tsuppari attack, and continued moving forward, pushing Ni-Oh-no back and over the bales, and probably back to Juryo too!
Kaisei vs. Gagamaru
Next up was Kaisei, who also at M16 had a 3-7 losing record, is also trying to avoid relegation. Personally if I was facing relegation, Gagamaru is not the guy I would choose to challenge! Gaga came out of the tachi-ai with all the force Georgia has to offer. Kaisei hadn’t a chance. Gaga moved forward, and drove the Brazilian back and out. We’ll be saying goodbye to Kaisei now too. But Gagamaru got into the interview room to celebrate his kachi-koshi. Well done!
Asasekiryu vs. Daido
Daido got a great left hand outside grip on Asasekiryu’s belt and drove forward. Asa was trying to launch a right handed throw, but as Daido was in his right side, he didn’t have a hope. A good win for Daido.
Kyokushuho vs. Tochiozan
Tochiozan’s fast start gained him a double inside grip and it was game over from there. Tochio easily drove him back and won with yorikiri. 9-2 for the victor.
Shohozan vs. Chiyonokuni
Chiyonokuni is doing very well for himself this basho, with 8 wins and 2 losses coming into today. And I quite fancied him (to win Bertrum, I fancied him to win.)
Both guys came in fast and were both pushing hard. Chiyonokuni grabs Shohozans arm and attempts an arm bar throw, but happens to slip at the same time and puts his hand on the clay… that’s a no-no!
Aran vs. Fujiazuma
A double handed pushing attempt by Aran at the tachi-ai had Fujiazuma with just one hand on Arans shoulders and one on his elbow. Fuji was making some ground however, so Aran decided to spin back and around out of the way. It sent Fuji flying forwards with nothing in fron of him but the ground. Unfortunately for Aran, he stepped out during his spin and was pronounced the loser.
Tochinoshin vs. Kyokutenho
Both guys locked up in yotsu-zumo. Kyokutenho looked to be in the stronger position however, and drove forward. Tochinoshin dug in and lifted and pun Kyukutenho around and out! Tochinoshin improves to 7-4.
Yoshikaze vs. Tenkaiho
First time meeting for these guys. Yoshikaze got onto the side of Tenkaiho after the tachi-ai and kept moving around. He got a double handed inside grip and despite a load of resistance wriggled the much bigger Tenkaiho out.
Tokitenku vs. Toyohibiki
Fun fact for the day: Toyohibiki was once ordered to buy myself and Valentine an ice-cream! Tokitenku slipped slightly at the lines today and gave the ice-cream boy a huge advantage. He put his hand on Tenku’s throat and drove forward. Tenku is quite flexible however and bent backwards at the bales and retreated slightly to the side and watched Toyo fall out.
Aoiyama vs. Tochinowaka
Boobs came in low looking for a forntal grip on Tochinowaka. It almost worked out perfectly for him too, but Tochi reacted well by reversing slightly faster and slapping Aoiyama to the ground. Tochi improves to 6-5.
Myogiryu vs. Takayasu
The Myoge got a double inside grip on the much hairier Takayasu. He drove forward, but as a defence Takayasu retreated around the edge trying a beltless arm throw. He almost got, but didn’t. The Myoge moves to 7-4.
Kitataiki vs. Goeido
Kitataiki left himself wide open after the initial enguage, and Goeido wasted no time putting his hand on the back of his neck to drop him to the dirt. Kitataiki wasn’t all here today.
Okinoumi vs. Wakakoyu
Okinoumi has displayed a nice amount of skill this basho, unfortunately for him that skill is not at all being reflected on the scoreboard, as he currently has just 2 wins. Wakakoyu rushed into Okinoumis chest to raise him up, then slapped him down. A whole lot of slap down’s today!
Miyabiyama vs. Aminishiki
The snake handed Miyabiyama his make-koshi. Aminishi actually looked pretty ok, or perhaps McFlabby just looked as pathethic as ever. Some conspiracy theorists believe Miyabiyama took a fall for Kisenosato, I guess it’s possible, I just think it’s more likely that Miyabiyama is just shit this tournament.
Takekaze vs. Toyonoshima
Although you kindof have to laugh when you look at the current winning records of these two guys, 1-9 vs. 3-7 you must remember that it was Toyonoshima that took down Kisenosato back on Day 4. But it is pretty obvious that the pair are well overranked at M1 and Sekiwake respectively. Not to worry however, they won’t be here this high come the Osaka tourney in March.
Takekaze didn’t henka today. He hit hard and then pushed Toyonoshima sideways which gave him the advantage. He then pounced on him and drove him out via yorikiri! Surprisingly the overall record between these guys is now 12-5 in favour of Takekaze! What’s that all about??
Kotooshu vs. Kakuryu
After accomplishing a huge life goal yesterday Kakuryu, assuming he didn’t drink himself silly last night, was surly pretty confident in his preparations against the Ozeki, who has both fallen out of the yusho race….. that a, you know, he was never in… , and who has already got his kachikoshi. So far this tournament Kakuryu has beaten Harumafuji and the dai-yokozuna.
Kakuryu came in and pushed Kotooshu upwards and got a frontal grip. He circled around wile adjusting his grip. He keot his arse, with mawashi attached well back out of Kotooshu’s grip and then launched and perfectly executed a shitatenage underarm throw which flipped the lanky-lazy ozeki over and down. Kakuryu sours to 8-3.
Homasho vs. Kotoshogiku
After losses to Takekaze, Aminishiki, Goeido, Miyabiyama and Kisenosato (all of which are ranked lower) Kotoshogiku has found him in the situation where he needs 3 wins from his next five fights if he is to avoid his first kadoban.
Kotoshogiku came in hard and headbutted Homasho and then drove forward. Homasho though probably slightly concussed offered some resistance against the hug-and-chug so Kotoshogiku tried to throw him down instead. Further resistance was offered so things went to the far side of the ring for a hug-and-chug and the inevitable win for Kotoshogiku. He was on form today and had a great day. Homasho of course offered his trademark bow of respect.
Baruto vs. Harumafuji
Finally the first major bout of the day! The first time these two guy met in makuuchi was back in July 2006 when both were ranked at M4. Baruto had the edge that day and since then they have been fairly evenly matched, Harumafuji with the slight edge of 12-10. Baruto looked as calm as ever before as things were heating up. Possibly my adrenaline was flowing more than his!!
Baruto opened with tsuppari attack and I was very happy to see that Harumafuji stayed in front of him. Harry tried to push the machine upwards but to little avail. He drove Harry back to the edge and when Harry’s legs basically crumbled. Baruto now stands leader of the pack at 11-0, a personal record in the makuuchi rank! Keep it up buddy!
Hakuho vs. Kisenosato
The excitement before this one was amazing and the amount of money up for grabs was probably close to the average yearly Japanese wage. But of course for these guys, it has nothing to do with the money. It was a big one for sure. Many fans having all their hopes on the shin-ozeki, because of course, if he was to take down the dai-yokozuna he was have an excellent chance of taking the emperors cup on Sunday. Looking at the record books reveals a 24-7 advantage in Hakuho’s favour, but in their last 6 meetings they stand 3-3. And of course Kisenosato was coming into the fight today after a win from yesterday, Hakuho was coming in from a loss.
Kisenosato started the fight with a strong hand to the yokozunas throat, which was not at all appreciated. Hakuho needed to do something about it so he grabbed the arm of Kisenosato, a move that he uses a lot of him, and tried an arm bar throw, which actually turned into an arm push. This sent Kissy moving backwards slightly and gave the yokozuna the opportunity to move forward into him and drive him back and out!! Excellent stuff!!
That leaves the leaderboard with Baruto undefeated followed by Hakuho with just the one loss.
Montana will be standing for your attention tomorrow!