Welcome to Day 10 of the Aki basho in Tokyo. Coming in to todays action we have 3 names on the leaderboard without a loss; Hakuho, Harumafuji and Kyokutenho, and another 3 with only a single loss; Kisenosato, Okinoumi and Takayasu. I’m sure Kyokutenho and Takayasu don’t honestly believe there names will stay up on the leaderboard, and either today or the next few days will erase their names to leave the current or future yokozuna names only.
E-J1 Ikioi 6-3 vs W-M15 Sadanofuji 3-6
Sada did his best to keep Ikioi away from his belt with tsuppari tothe face. But it seemed a little weak, and a little slow. Soon Ikioi was able to find a way in, and he was able to throw Sada down via an underarm throw.
W-M14 Kimurayama 4-5 vs W-M12 Takarafuji 3-6
Weak stuff too from Takarafuji today, who allowed Kimurayama to easily turn him around and pushi him out via yorikiri.
W-M11 Wakanosato 4-5 vs W-M10 Wakakoyu 3-6
Wakakoyu successfully pushed the crocodile upright from the tachi-ai. Then as the croc was trying to correct himself Wakakoyu timed his slap down perfectly and sent the old man to the dirt.
E-M9 Kitataiki 2-7 vs E-M15 Fujiazuma 4-5
Kitataiki got an excellent start from the tachi-ai, hitting Fuji before he had moved his feet. I thought it was going to be called back and started agiain, but the ref let it continue. Although Kita’s start was fast it wasn’t so powerful, and the two locked up, chest to chest. Kita got a deeper grip on Fuji’s belt before driving forward. But as he did, Fuji flicked his hips and broke Kitas grip. Fuji now looked in control as he humped Kita backwards to the bales. At the edge Kita showed some good evasive maneuvering and dropped Fruji with an uwatenage
E-M8 Daido 3-6 vs E-M16 Takanoyama 3-6
Takanoyama jumped to the side of Daido, going for an arm bar pull down. Daido was able to withstand it though and drove the bean pole to the edge, but not out. The bean pole can bend an sway like no other rikishi in this division. He then got a double inside grip with he gave up quickly as he tried to throw Daido with his left arm. That also didn’t work, and the locked up again with Daido having an outside grip. Daido then squeezed the arms of Takanoyama and simultaneously threw him to the floor. Very interesting to watch, as Takanoyamas fights usually are!
E-M7 Miyabiyama 4-5 vs E-M13 Asasekiryu 4-5
Asasekiryu went for a straight slap down at the tachi-ai. Miyabiyama instead of driving forward, went for pushing Asa upright and waiting for a slap down opportunity to come. It never did come and Asa drove him out of the ring instead. Silly sumo by the ex-ozeki.
W-M13 Tenkaiho 2-7 vs W-M7 Shotenro 2-7
Shotenro tied up Tenkaihos arms and drove him straight back and out. Shotenro actually stepped out first, but the judges were apparently busy thinking about something else at the time, and no mono-ii was called.
E-M14 Asahisho 6-3 vs W-M6 Masunoyama 4-5
Before the tachi-ai Masunoyama body language was really saying, your ass is mine bitch, I’m going to swallow you whole, and spit you out backwards, Bitch! And Asahisho knew it, so he refused to start and made them both stand up and reset. Then he false started, and by now he had gotten into the head of Masu. Asa came in the fastest this time around, and got the better os Masu. But Masu put some lateral pressure which gave him the briefest time to get his shit together. He was the able to deal with all Asa’s pushing attempts and managed to slap him down when the opportunity arose. I was delighted to see him win as Asa really tried to fcuk him over before the fight even began.
E-M12 Chiyotairyu 5-4 vs W-M5 Takekaze 5-4
Chiyo came in hard and very fast, driving Take back. Take was circling away and trying to deflect all he had to offer. Now Take found himself in a sort of offensive position, and drive forward. But he was falling as Chiyo went back and out. I waited for the replay, which they only showed one. It looked to me that Takekaze clearly won, but the win was given to Chiyo, without a moni-ii. Strange!
E-M4 Aminishiki 6-3 vs W-M8 Okinoumi 8-1
These 2 have met 4 times in the past with 3 wins going to the of Okinoumi. Aminishi did however win the last encounter. Today Aminishiki came in with a powerful shove to Okinoumis face. He drove him back to near the bales, before putting his hand on the back of his head and easily dropping him to the ground. If Aminishiki displayed this kind of sumo, the sumo he is completely capable of, more often I would reconsider my hatred of him.
E-M3 Homasho 5-4 vs E-M10 Yoshikaze 5-4
A solid crack of heads at the tachi-Ai saw Yoshikaze get the better position. He does what he does, pulling, pushing, dancing around. Homasho tried to keep him in sight and with a push from Homasho and simultaneous pull from Yoshi saw Yoshi balance on the tawara, but manage to get back into the ring safely. After more dancing around, Homasho got a grip on the belt he was looking for and forced Yoshi out.
E-M2 Aran 1-8 vs E-M6 Tokitenku 3-6
Aran found himself with a solid arm hand grip, but couldn’t get the right without a lot of effort, and avoiding leg trips. When he for it he dropped his hips and tried to drive Tokitenku back. Toki hooked Arans leg and got him off balance and was able to drive him back. Just before the edge instead of driving straight back, he put lateral pressure and drove Aran out on an angle. Great stuff from the Mongolian.
W-M3 Toyonoshima 2-7 vs W-M2 Gagamaru 3-6
Gaga got a double outside grip from the start and Toyo had a double inside beltless grip. When Gaga drove forward, Toyo reversed and launched an under shoulder-swing down throw, also know as a katasukashi.
W-M4 Toyohibiki 5-4 vs W-M1 Kaisei 4-5
Toyohibiki tried to lift up the Brazilian but he was shaving none of it. Kaisei drove powerfully forward and as Toyohibiki had no good answer for him, he was able to win easily. Great forward moving sumo from Kaisei.
E-K Aoiyama 1-8 vs E-M1 Shohozan 2-7
Aoiyama was happy to just push the much smaller Shohozan today, so plenty of tsuppari was exchanged. Shohozan deflected one shove and sent Aoi to the side. Sho followed up very quickly but wasn’t squared up correctly and so wasn’t as effective as he could have been. As the both scrambled around the tawara with Aoi backing up, Aoi displayed some good footwork to stay alive as Sho fell to the dirt.
E-S Myogiryu 7-2 vs W-K Tochinoshin 2-7
Tochi tried hard but couldn’t raise up Myogiryu, and fair play to the Myog for staying low. Tochi got a good right hand grip and used his left hand to neutralise Myogiryu’s right hand. Tochi then launched a throw that didn’t work, but had the Myog hopping on one foot. Tochinoshin then drove forward as his opponent crumbled before him.
E-M11 Kyokutenho 9-0 vs W-O Kakuryu 7-2
Kyokutenho was the first of the undefeated rikishi to set foot on the dohyo today. His opponent, recently promoted ozeki Kakuryu. The Kak has won the last 6 enocounters, with 5 of those 6 wins coming from yorikiri force outs. Before the fight the cameras were focusing on Harumafuji and Takayasu. When things started both men locked into yotsu sumo. The Kak was slimy reacting to all of Kyokutenho’s attacks, defending himself adequately. When he got bored he went makikae getting a double inside grip, lifted Kyokutenho up and dropped him outside the straw ring.
W-S Goeido 6-3 vs W-O Kisenosato 8-1
After Kisenosato’s surprise defeat to the hands of the cigar store Indian (who ironically has never smoked a cigar!), he needs to compose himself very quickly if he hopes to continue his shot at the yusho. Although in all fairness his chances are very slim now as currently he would need to beat both Harumafuji and Hakuho to achieve that! But today he meets Goeido, who he has beaten 10 times and only lost 3. But one of those losses was just last tournament! Today in the last throw of salt, Kisenosato actually landed salt on Goeido! I don’t believe I’ve seen that before. Goeido clearly had salt in his hair. But nothing was said and the tachi-Ai came next. Immediately Salty tried an arm throw but blinks was in a better position and able to block the throw. Goeido was using his to lift up blinks leg, but was ever slightly too far forward and crashed down a hard second before the ozeki. A bit disappointing in my opinion.
E-O Harumafuji 9-0 vs W-M9 Takayasu 8-1
The second of our undefeated men to set foot on top of the dohyo. Harumafuji has been on fire so far this tournament, and has proved that he does, in fact, want to be promoted to yokozuna. His opponent today is a man he has faced only 2 times before, but holds a 100% winning record over him. The ozeki looked composed, the M9 looked nervous, cameras focused on Hakuho! Harumafuji got a right hand grip at the start and tried to end it quickly with a throw. Taka reacted well though and broke the ozeki’s grip. After some face slaps, the ozeki got back in, and went for another throw, that put the M9 off balance. Continuing quickly Harumafuji threw again, and knocked Takaysu down and he foot was in an awkward position. Taka stayed on the ground not moving for a while until the ozeki picked him up. Takayasu was obviously in a lot of pain, and stumbled as he tried to stand up. But, 10 wins for the future Yokozuna!
E-Y Hakuho 9-0 vs E-M5 Tochiozan 6-3
The final man to defend his perfect winning record this tournament was facing Tochiozan. Hakuho has a perfect winning record against the 25 year old from Kochi, beating him 14 times! Hakuho moved fast from the tachi-ai and stopped Tochiozan in his tracks. Tochiozan had nowhere to go, so tried to spin around to his left, Hakuho followed, but, BUT, the yokozunas legs didn’t! I’m not sure what happened to be honest, perhaps he slipped, perhaps he was a little too anxious to plough though an M5!!!! But either way the Yokozuna fell for the first time this basho, and gave the lead solely to Harumafuji! Wow!
And now the leaderboard has changed considerably, undefeated Harumafuji, followed closely by yokozuna Hakuho and ozeki Kisenosato with one loss a piece.
I need a drink.