Change was the topic of Creswell’s intro on Day 2 and boy did he hit the head on the nail. Change is definitely in the air. At least one ozeki will definitely not be ozeki next tournament, the shin-Yokozuna’s 32 bout winning streak came to a premature end, and further down the banzuke we may well see Asasekiryu drop down to juryo for the first time since the haru basho in 2003, after he withdrew yesterday. Let’s see what changes ensue today.
Fujiazuma vs. Jokoryu
Fuji kept the newbie in check today with some good tsuppari, forcing Joe back until his foot slipped over the tawara.
Kitataiki vs. Tamawashi
Tamawashi came in with a strong low tachi-ai keeping his head straight, and getting his left hand under Kitataiki’s armpit and driving him straight back and out. This one was won at the tachi-ai.
Chiyonokuni vs. Wakanosato
Wakanosato tried to shoulder blast, as Chiyo went in for a head blast. Chiyo’s head raised the old man and allowed the younger to get both hands around. Waka was struggling here and tried to launch a neck throw, but Chiyo was able to get a grip on the mawashi and man hump his way to victory on this their first date.
Asahisho vs. Yoshiazuma
Yoshi is noticable bigger than Asahisho, and at the tachi-ai he obviously is stronger too. But after being driven back at the initial blast Asa regained control as he was deflecting the pushes from Yoshi. Asa kept digging in, and returning the pushes to the face until Yoshi he drove him back and out.
Chiyotairyu vs. Miyabiyama
Miyabiyama is still searching for his first win. Chiyotairyu made sure to keep the distance between the two at a bare minimum as Miyabiyama pushed and thrusted into his face. And when Miyabi went for the hand slap down, as he always does, Chiyo was ready to stick back in and drive him out with ease. Chiyotairyu moves to 4-0.
Tokitenku vs. Wakakoyu
Tokitenku is also after his first win. He will also have to keep on searching for it though. He seemed to be sleeping at the tachi-ai, as Wakakoyu pushed hard and fast before reversing and slapping down on the Mongolians hands and dropping him way to easily to the dohyo.
Gagamaru vs. Shotenro
Gaga used his powerful sumo to drive straight forward and push Shotenro straight back and out. Shotenro was trying to knock Gaga off balance, but really should had circled around instead of going straight back.
Kyokutenho vs. Yoshikaze
Kyokutenho used his right arm to prevent Yoshi’s hands from getting a grip of his mawashi. Kyoku’s left arm gets well under his opponents right, and he locked his hands together. Strangly his right arm was high and so he had his elbow in Yoshikazes throat. He didn’t have a grip on the mawashi however, so try as he did to push with his elbow, he couldn’t force back Yosh, nor could he throw him. Yoshikaze then dug in and forced Toyo out as he was attempting a throw.
Ikioi vs. Toyonoshima
Toyo drove hard and fast at the start, but he didn’t have enough to force him out. As Ikky got his shit together, he dug in and made his own drive. Toyo tried to slap down, and completely gave his advantage away. So Ikky powered on, driving Toyo back around the ring. He managed to back up faster though, and with a turn and a pull on Ikkys arm, twisted him to the ground.
Aoiyama vs. Daido
First a flase start by Daido, then one by Aoiyama. On the third attempt Daido henkaed slightly to get the advantage. He got a solid right hand on Aoiyamas mawashi, and kept the pressure on. Aoi was struggling as didn’t have any mawashi grip. Daido tried to move around as much as possible, pushing and attempting throws. Aoiyama showed that he is really getting his footwork together and was able to react and deal with everything that came his way. Then without even getting his hand on Daidos mawashi he forced him over the bales, when one of Daido throw attempts failed. Excellent footwork the the Bulgarian who moves to a perfect 4-0.
Aran vs. Toyohibiki
Aran had a nicely positioned push on Toyohibikis face, pushing him back. He didn’t have enough power to push him all the way back though, so changed to a grip with both hands on the front of Hibi’s mawashi. Aftera slight stalemate, Aran enployed the possibly the bes winning move of his career, a twisting underarm throw, also known as a shitatehineri. NHK was also impressed and only replayed that move, from 3 different angles!
Tochinoshin vs. Masunoyama
Masunoyama came in hard placing his head just under Tochinos chin and almost immediately got a nice arm bar lock. He threw Tochino, and his chin, around but instead of continuing with that momentum he forced Tochi back. Masu then got a deep grip on the back of his mawashi, but lost it almost immediately. So placing his hand on Tochis chest he pushed him upright and set up for his final shove out. Good stuff.
Myogiryu vs. Takayasu
Not a win between either of these guys so far in Kyushu, but in all fairness the M1 Myogiryu has had a much harder lineup than Takayasu. Myogiryu came in fast getting a double inside grip and humping Taka straight back and out without letting him do anything.
Aminishiki vs. Goeido
Looking at Aminishikis wrapped up leg its hard not to wish it was he instead of the ozeki who has gone kyujo this basho. At the tachi-ai things looked to be pretty even, although Goeido was preventing Ami for getting his hand inside. So Ami reversed looking to slap down the future ozeki. Goeido knew what was going on though, and reacted with lightning speed to force bandy back and out. Thats 4-0 for Goeido.
Kotoshogiku vs. Okinoumi
Okinoumis only win so far has been over the shin-Yokozuna. Today he got his right arm inside Kotoshogikus, giving him an advantage, but unfortunately he couldn’t get to the mawashi. So Kotoshogiku does what he does best, he got his opponent off balance then went in for his man humping style win. If Okinoumi could have got the mawashi it could have been a different story… IF
Tochiozan vs. Kisenosato
Tochiozan got the ozekis center of gravity high, and got both arms inside. Here the ozeki was in major trouble. Tochi, without a grip on the mawashi, went to drive Kissy out. But a sweet turn and push down at the edge saw Tochiozan, who was in complete control of this fight, fall a fraction of a second sooner than Kissy stepped out. No doubt Tochiozan is pissed off right now.
Kakuryu vs. Homasho
Homasho started well back from the lines at the tachi-ai and did meet the ozeki at a good angle. But ozeki Kak got his right arm inside, went for a half throw, and then pulled on the back of Homashos head to drop him to his 4th straight loss.
Takekaze vs. Kotooshu
Small vs. Tall. Takekaze got in under Kotooshu, gaining a right handed grip on the back of the Bulgarians mawashi. The ozeki then used his much longer arms to get a grip on the back of the Akitans mawashi. Take tried to throw the ozeki over his knee, but his hand slipped off the mawashi, and then Kotooshu could easily push him out. The 5th time kadoban ozeki improves to 3-1
Hakuho vs. Kaisei
Kaisei’s current win/loss record really does not indicate how much he has improved. So far he lost to Baruto, Kakuryu and Kotoshogiku, but he has made them work for their wins. His footwork has improved greatly and if he continues to fight as well as he has he will do fine in week two.
There was a great sound to this tachi-ai, a clear crisp slap. Kaisei had a nice right hand grip on the front of the dai-Yokozunas belt. Hakuho was without a grip, but prevented the Brazilian from getting a double grip. Hakuho got a left handed grip, then a right, then Kaisei tried to go makikae, which gave Hakuho the opportunity to squeeze him in close and throw him to the ground.
Kaisei lost, but I give him full credit for his performance today. I think he would have beaten anyone other than the dai-Yokozuna with todays performance.
Shohozan vs. Harumafuji
Shohozan has also been fighting well thus far. He knocked Baruto down and out of his ozeki rank, as well as falling Kotooshu, who we all know is another kadoban ozeki. No doubt the shin-Yokozuna will have considered him a formidable threat before stepping on the dohyo today.
After a pushing tachi-ai both men separate for a second. Then Shohozan got his left hand on the Harrys throat. Using his right hand the yokozuna pushed up on Shohozans left arm to get it away from his throat. Somehow the yokozuna lost his balance briefly, but very luckily for him Shohozans legs seemed to fold up like a Colemans camping chair, and he fell by himself. The shin-Yokozuna moves to a slightly more respectable 3-1.
deGama will be here tomorrow.
Our apologies for the lack of a Day 3 report.