History made on Day 13: Estonia takes their first title in the land of the rising sun. Baruto, displaying more control over his nerves than we are used to, takes his first top division championship since entering Makuuchi in 2006, and only 8 years after entering the sport. Now that Hakuho has given his third loss to Kotooshu, It is clear sailing for Bart, who just needs to avoid injury and run the clock. There are a few fates to be sealed today, however, so on to Day 14.
E12 Yoshiazuma (3-10) vs. WJ1 Hochiyama (7-6). Juryo sending their muscle up to play with the big boys, Hochiyama making a run for his promotion into the top division. A poor attempt to lock up by Yoshi lets Hoshi dig in and fire away with a barrage of tsupari, center mass. Yoshi never gets closer than arms length and is pummeled out, oshidashi, to put Hochiyama one away from a (possible) spot in Makuuchi.
EJ2 Takarafuji (8-5) vs. W12 Tosayutaka (4-9). Lotto 6 showing his face in Makuuchi today, Takarafuji aims to show he’s still got what it takes. Takara puts two hands on the chin and gets Tosa back-peddling. Tosa gets pushed to the bails and walked out, and Takara seals his spot back in Makuuchi for March.
E16 Kaisei (4-9) vs. W11 Sadonofuji (7-6). Even at the tachiai, Sado gets his tuspari on before Kaisei can get into gear. Kaisei can’t get around Sado’s attack before he’s pushed out oshidashi. Sado secures his promotion.
E9 Toshinoshin (8-5) vs. W16 Nionoumi (4-9). Neo enjoys his last few days in Makuuchi, and hands out another win to Noshin. Quick and easy, oshidashi puts Noshin another step up in the ranks.
W14 Sagatsukasa (5-8) vs. W9 Daido (5-9). After they bat each other around for a little while Daido gets less than a handful of what little hair Saga has left, and pulls down, hatakikomi gives Daido one less loss.
E8 Shohozan (6-7) vs. M13 Tenkaiho (8-5). Shoho, first out of the gates, tsupari’s Tenkaiho till he’s standing up straight. Shoho shoots his hands through for a morozashi, walks to the bails, and throws Tenkai to the sand. Yoritaoshi puts Shoho one closer to his Kachi.
E15 Asasekiryu (9-4) vs. W8 Tochiozan (10-3). Ozan shoots his left into Asa’s armpit and pushes from the hip, redirecting Asa’s advance. As Asa stumbles off to the side, Ozan puts the finishing pat on the back and Asa’s in the sand, tsukiotoshi.
E7 Aran (6-7) vs. W15 Kyokusho (3-10). The two wrap up for the first time with their right hand in. Kyokusho tries to advance, but Alan is waiting for it. Alan shows off his strength and picks up his opponent and gets him to the bails, picks him up one more time, and places him in the first row, tsuridashi.
E6 Yoshikaze gets his kachikoshi today as his opponent, E13 Chiyonokuni is out with a dislocated shoulder.
E11 Fujiazuma (7-6) vs. W6 Kyokutenho (7-6). Fuji can’t keep his elbows in on the tachiai and gives up a morozashi grip to team Mogol. Team Mongol pushes Fuji around for a little while before twisting him to the sand. Sukuinage gets Tenho his Kachi.
E5 Myojiru (9-4) vs. E10 Tokitenku (9-4). Toki and Myogi get off to a slap around start. Toki switches gears and tries to side step, but Myogi stays in front and pushes Toki toward the bails. Toki makes a last-ditch effort for a slapdown, and it works. Myogi with his face in the sand, hikiotoshi.
W10 Gagamaru (10-3) vs. W5 Toyohibiki (6-7). Lady Gaga with a good tachiai, staying in front of the Beak and pushing him back to the bails. The Beak pushes off the bail, only to be sidestepped and pushed to the sand, tsukiotshi. Lady Gaga lookin’ good this basho.
E4 Homasho (6-7) vs. W7 Aoiyama (5-8). Cigar Shop is outsized and gets pushed around the ring before Aoiyama gets him up on the bails. Aoiyama leans on his opponent until Homasho gives in, oshitaoshi gives Homasho his Makekoshi.
E14 Takanoyama (6-7) vs. W4 Tochinowaka (7-6). Takanoyama, struggling to find ways around his lack of size, is unable to keep Tochi’s hands off his mawashi. Tochinowaka puts Takanoyama up on the bails and just leans. Yoritaoshi force-out for Tochinowaka, and the Kachikoshi.
M1 Takekaze (3-10) vs. M2 Goeido (5-8). Takekaze able to keep Goeido from grabbing him with a combination of face pummeling, hair-pulling, and eye-gouging. Home Team slaps down Goeido, hatakikomi.
EK Miyabiyama (3-10) vs. E2 Okinoumi (3-10). Oki works his way around Flubby’s tsupari to get a left hand in, and his right under Flubby’s elbow. Oki keeps his balance and advances Flubby up to the bails and out, yorikiri.
E3 Kitataiki (1-12) vs. WK Wakakoyu (4-9). Wakakoyu nearly gets a Hatakikomi, but Kitataiki keeps his footing. Wakakoyu switches gears and starts pushing high on the chest and chin. Kita never gets around it and ends up in the expensive seats, oshidashi.
ES Kakuryu (9-4) vs. W3 Takayasu (4-9). Super Cheap comes out swinging against team Mongol, and the two box each other for a while. Eventually the Kak gets a hold of Takayasu and with a right hand in, and works Taka back to the bails. Takayasu moves sideways along the bails, breaks loose, and starts double-hand shoving like he’s out to get his lunch money back. The Kak doesn’t know what hit him, stumbles around the ring and to the bails, and Takayasu is there to finish him off. Takayasu is back on his side of the ring before the Kak picks himself off the floor in the second row. Tsukidashi and a great match.
W1 Aminishiki (7-6) vs. WS Toyonoshima (5-8). The Sneak starts out strong but gets a weak left hand in, right hand high. The Sneak able to sneak his high hand up, over and through the arms of his opponent, immediately getting the upper hand with a sweet morozashi two hands in. There is not much Toyo can do from there, he tries to side step and throw, but just doesn’t have the positioning to pull it off. The Sneak turns it around and throws Toyo to the clay, shitatenage, and one step closer to his Kachi.
EO Baruto (13-0) vs. EO Kotooshu (10-3). The two Eurozekis go head-to-head once again, and as usual, leave nothing to be desired. Bart uses his never-fail two-hands-under-the-chin shove on the tachiai, and immediately gets Oshu over compensating to regain his balance. Bart changes directions and pulls Oshu down, with one hand on his belt and the other on the back of Oshu’s head, throws the yogurt-sporting Bulgarian off the dohyo as if he was drunk, club patron back in Bart’s bouncer days. Let’s hope he can keep it together tomorrow and make his first Yusho a Zensho!
WO Kisenosato (10-3) vs. WO Harumafuji (10-3). The Blink, already proving he is Ozeki material, hoping to leave his mark on another Ozeki. Quite the opposite, though, as Haruma keeps The Blink at a distance with his powerful tsupari, eventually landing one on the temple. The Blink is put to sleep by a 5th second knock out, and Haruma takes it, tsukiotoshi.
EY Hakuho (10-3) vs. EO Kotoshogiku (7-6). If The Geek was looking for his Kachi, it wasn’t going to be today. Hakuhu not able to quite make his migiyotsu right hand in, so changed gears with a bit of a spin move while pulling down with the right. The Geek never had his feet under him till he was getting up out of the sand. Hakuho with a tsukitoshi, and The Geek with his last chance tomorrow.
I am excited to see what the future holds for ‘ol Bart. Hopefully this reinvigorates his game and gives him the confidence he lacked against his sempai. It’s been a pleasure. Daly will be here to bring you the Basho conclusion and highlights!
a hui hou! ~Chalmers