Natsu Basho 2012 Day 11

Grettings sumo lovers, it’s day 11 and things are getting very interesting indeed. Currently we have 1 man standing above the rest, and strangely it isn’t who you’d expect. Some advid conspiracy theorists believe that among others, Aran, Takekaze and Gagamaru all took falls to set Kisenosato up to take the yusho. I, however, think that is a load of shite. The yusho is still up for grabs, but as Murray Johnson put it yesterday, “it’s Kisenosato’s for the losing“. I fully agree.

Today’s highlight bout of the day is without doubt the Kisenosato vs. Kakuryu. As the pressure on the Kid grows, will his balls finally drop, or will he drop his first real chance to yusho? Kissy has a 16-9 career record over the shin-ozeki, but more importantly has also won the last 5 times they met (all oshidashi!). So ignoring the pressure that leading the yusho race inevitably carries, Kisenosato would have to be the favourite to win today. I’m getting excited…

M14E Asasekiryu (3-7) vs. M15E Fujiazuma (2-8)
Fujiazuma has a whole lot to do from here on out if he wishes to remain in makuuchi hasn’t a hope of being in makuuchi in July. Asa won the tachi-ai getting the better position. Fuji tied his mawashi very loosely today, so when Asa grabbed it he had very little to work with. But they settled in the middle of the dohyo for a good minute or so, whispering sweet nothings in each others ears. Finally Asa got himself a better grip and on his third throw attempt sent Fuji down for his 6th loss in a row.

M13W Kimikaze (4-6) vs. M12W Daido (5-5)
Daido came in hard, winning a great tachi-ai and drove forward. He didn’t get a grip on the belt however, and the flexible Kimikaze was able to push Doido off balance, circle around and manage to stay in a fraction of a second longer that the big Dai.

M12E Kaisei (6-4) vs. M13E Tenkaiho (3-7)
These two appeared to fight in slow-motion. Kaisei got the better position, slightly into the right side of Tenkaiho. After withstanding a descent throw attempt the Brazilian drove forward, before changing and downing Ten with an overarm throw.

M9E Tokitenku (5-5) vs. M11W Sadanofuji (4-6)
The leg sweeper tried to get a quick win by well, leg sweep at the tachi-ai. But Sada was wise to it, and kept his balance well, and then found himself in a great position to win as Toki was completely upright. So Sada tried went to finish the Mongolian off, but he wasn’t going down so easy. Tokitenku slipped on his ballerina shoes and danced and spun beautifully along and around the straw bales. Eventually his big toe disrupted the sand on the otter side, and the win went to Sada.

M11E Shotenro (7-3) vs. M8W Kitataiki (4-6)
Shotenro came off his lines with great speed, quickly raising Kitataiki upright, while also managing to keep his paw on his chest to keep him upright so when he attacked again he only needed one simple push to seal his kachi-koshi. Nicely done.

M8E Tochinoshin (5-5) vs. M16E Takarafuji (8-2)
First time meeting between these two. Tochinoshin forces himself to a double inside grip, leaving Taka with a double outside grip. Tochi took his time, adjusting into a deeper grip before driving forward. Taka put up plently of resistance, but with a lesser grip, never really showed any real potential for winning.

M15W Tamawashi (8-2) vs. M7W Kyokutenho (7-3)
A messy start, a push, a slip, a stumble, another slip and another stumble and both wrestlers fall in a disgraceful manner. Tamawashi slipped and fell first. The leader-board is now cleared of the names that were never contenders.

M10E Wakanosato (4-6) vs. M6W Aoiyama (7-3)
Wakanosato tied to get a double inside grip, but Aoi kept his arms in tight and forced the croc backwards and to the straw easily. Waka tried to get the hell out of there but a one handed thrust and the out, off the ring and on top of one of the ringside judges. That was career victory #100 for Aoiyama.

M5E Okinoumi (7-3) vs. M7E Shohozan (5-5)
I looked like Okinoumi was tring a slap down at the tachi-ai, but Shoho was in so fast that that completely didn’t work out. Oki recovered really well and drove Shoho back to the bales. Sho was wiggling and resisting as much as possible, and that was preventing Oki from getting a grip on the mawashi. Oki pushed forward and the second ballerina performance of the day saw Shoho tippy-toe around in a circle and tap the sickened Oki out a fraction of a second earlier. Beautiful stuff from Shohozan.

M9W Yoshikaze (4-6) vs. M4W Tochinowaka (2-8)
Yoshikaze shifted to his left and followed with a solid push into Tochi’s right armpit which send him off balance. Yoshi followed really quickly with some nice slapping. Tochi was completely lost, he didn’t even get an arm near Yoshikaze before he had lost the fight. Hopefully Tochi will show up tomorrow.

M5W Miyabiyama (2-8) vs. M3W Takekaze (3-7)
Takekaze lightly hit Miyabi when he found his hands on top of both his opponents arms. So he quickly reversed and pushed down on those arms. Miyabi went straight down. Easy win for the Akitian.

M3E Toyohibiki (4-6) vs. M6E Wakakoyu (6-4)
A nice start by both men with pushing attempts. Toyohibiki was more in charge though, and was on the attack the entire bout. Wakakoyu on the other hand was all defensive, trying to defect all Hibi had to offer. But Hibi had solid balance today, and was eventually able to push Waka out. No belts used in this fight at all.

M1E Aran (1-9) vs. M2W Gagamaru (3-7)
Aran slipped to the side helped his avoid the full force of the steam roller, while also gaining a grip on the back of Gaga’s mawashi. Unfortunately Gaga’s foot slipped not once, but twice and he hit the clay. 2nd win of the tournament for Aran.

M2E Myogiryu (5-5) vs. WK Aminishiki (6-4)
A nice paw to the throat of Aminishiki set him upright, then when Aminishiki recovered and came forward, Myogiryu slipped to the side. Ami fell slightly forward and set Myogiru up nicely to easily attack and finish of the Giant Killer… Interesting that was also career win #100 for Myogiryu!

M1W Takayasu (2-8) vs. WS Goeido (6-4)
Goeido hit Takayasu with a solid slap to the face, and almost gained a grip on the back of Taka’s mawashi. But not quite! Goeido then tried a pull down which didn’t work. Taka recovered and very forcefully pushed Goeido back to the straw, he reloaded and pushed again literally pushing Goeido off his feel and over backwards! Great stuff from Takayasu. And Goeido needs to go off and have a long hard think about things. He came in to today looking for an easy pull down. He should be coming in to FIGHT!

ES Toyonoshima (5-5) vs. M4E Tochiozan (8-2)
Tochiozan came into today looking to keep the pressure on Kisenosato. Toyonoshima had other ideas though and absorbed a solid initial charge. Toyonoshima dug in and went to drive forward, and as Tochiozan prepared to withstand the pressure, Toyo changed plans and with a beautiful under shoulder swing down spun Tochi down to the dirt. Oh well…

EK Homasho (1-9) vs. WO Baruto (7-3)
Homasho actually jumped to the side of Baruto at the tachi-ai! I’ve never seen Homasho not taking someone straight on before. Wow. WOW! Anyway, Homasho got a descent right hand grip of the ozeki’s belt and tried to dig into the side of Baruto. The ozeki was in a little bit of a problem here and the only answer he had was to try swing Homey around by a hand on his head. Luckily for Bart hecorrected things enough so that he could get a left hand grip on Homasho, and then a right. Once he had the double grip it was game over for the komusubi. That’s kachi-koshi for Baruto.

EO Harumafuji (6-4) vs. WO Kotoshogiku (7-3)
Kotoshogiku came in quick and hard and humped Harumafuji back and out without even getting a sniff of a mawashi. Harumafuji brought nothing today, which was a bit of a let down.

EO Kisenosato (9-1) vs. WO Kakuryu (7-3)
Here we are! The tension for this fight has been building since these two walked down the hanamichi. The replays from previous bouts between these two have been shown, and the last time Kakuryu beat Kissy was exactly this time last year. Kisenosato currently has a 2 lead win over everyone else. And he was looking confident. Kakuryu opened with a nice slap to Kisenosato’s face and then scrappled to get a grip of a mawashi. Kisenosatokindof just weather that storm and then both men found themselves with right hand inside grips. Kissy was searching for a left hand grip, so Kak kept his arse back as much as possible. Then the Kak went makikae to get a double inside grip. He pulled the move so quickly that Kisenosato didn’t even react to it, when he should have drove forward to gain at least a slight advantage. Kakuryu then dug in and started driving Kissy back towards the bales. Kissy was twisting left and right at the bales, struggling for dear life. He managed to push Kakuryu off balance between a lift out attempt and sent the Kak falling down. But Kissy was also falling back and out, while still pushing the Kak down. Both men hit the dirt at about the same time. The gyoji called it a Kakuryu win. But a momo-ii was called. Slow motion replays clearly showed that Kakuryu actually touched the ground first, but a rematch was called.

TORINAOSHI – REMATCH!!
This time Kisenosato kept a better eye on Kakuryu. And even though it was a similar start to before, Kissy diverted more of the Kaks slaps and pushes. Although neither man got a mawashi grip, Kisenosato was able to force Kak back. Near the bales Kakuryu tried to circle around the ring but the Kissy got a double grip and forced Kakuryu out. Unlucky. Kisenosato is now the sole leader with a 2 win cousion.

So what do the conspiracy theorists make of that?
A close first match. The gyoji called Kakuryu (not Kisenosato) the winner. A mono-ii was called and the judges could have easily decided to simply overrule the gyoji, since the replays clearly showed Kisenosato winning. But instead decided on a reply.
I guess they’ll come up with something though!

EY Hakuho (6-4) vs. EO Kotooshu (6-4)
The yokozuna proved yesterday he doesn’t need all his fingers to win a match, and Kotooshu proved… well he didn’t really prove anything, but perhaps he could use a few extra fingers! Kotooshu tried to prevent the double inside grip from the yokozuna. He successfully prevented one hand from going inside, but not the other. And broken finger or not, Hakuho hasn’t lost any speed. He quickly went makikae, and got his left hand on the back of the Bulgarians mawashi. He was now in the side of the ozeki and the yokozuna’s knee knocked the lanky legs from under Kotooshu and landed him on his back. Easy win for the Yokozuna.

So after todays events the leaderboard looks like this:
1 loss
Kisenosato
3 losses
Kotoshogiku, Baruto, Tochiohzan, Shotenro, Takarafuji, Tamawashi, Kyokutenho, Aoiyama

Check back tomorrow to see what Montana has to delight you with. The main bouts of interest tomorrow will be the Kisenosato vs. Tochiozan match! It should be a good one!

Connolly

2 responses to “Natsu Basho 2012 Day 11

  1. My boy Tochiozan seems to be buckling a bit after an extremely strong start. I knew that at a certain point he’d have to fight the real contenders, so I wasn’t seriously entertaining yusho hopes, but I was disappointed to see him go down to M7 Kyokutenho. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have been: his record against Kyokutenho is 3-10, so I should have expected the loss. He has a losing record with Toyonoshima, too. And with Kisenosato his record is 5-9, so I’m not overly optimistic.
    But I also believe that Kisenosato is likely to choke and lose this yusho. The fat lady (man?) hasn’t sung yet, by a long shot. Kisenosato will fall to someone, and I will be mightily excited if it is Tochiozan. More likely, though, it will be someone (or sometwo or three) farther up the Banzuke.
    In other news, I remain proud of my previous champion, Goeido, who is performing solidly as a Sekiwake. Beating Kotooshu, Baruto and Hakuho is pretty righteous, Hakuho’s injury notwithstanding (come on, that dude does not need digits). Here’s hoping that he can eke out two more wins for his KK in the next few days. With five of the six Ozeki and the Yokozuna behind him, (not to mention Toyonoshima, to whom he reliably loses for some reason), he should be able to manage it.

    Cheers — T10

  2. Kudos to old man river, Kyokutenho, for taking down two of the jun-yusho leaders, Tochiozan and Tamawashi, back to back (even if he was lucky in the Tamawashi bout). As for Tochiozan, he’s looked good, but against mediocre competition, so I’m not overly impressed.

    Not much love for Kisenosato around anywhere, it seems. He’s going to face Tochiozan, Hakuho, Harumafuji and Baruto. Three wins gives him the yusho, two gives him no worse than a playoff. Today’s win is pretty much a necessity therefore. Kise lost to him earlier this year but beat him seven out of eight in 2010 and 2011. A loss would be quite the upset and really through the yusho race wide open. I still think Kisenosato can bring it home though. And a very good anaysis of the Kisenosato-Kakuryu bout(s) — spot on, Mata.

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