Chalmers here, again! As we all saw yesterday, Hakuho has taken his 27th yusho, though I think (I KNOW) I was mistaken when I said he’d taken the record for most consecutive Yusho from Asashoryu. That was my mistake! I think was just over zealous since I haven’t been watching sumo for a while (had to finish up some grad school priorities). So, just to clarify, it’s his third consecutive of his current run, but possibly extending his zensho yusho record to 11. Needless to say, he’s still untouchable. Much apologies for the confusion!!!
Leader Board: It’s all been decided as of yesterday with Endo taking Juryo and Hakuho taking the top.
Honorable mention: Takanoyama wins his 6th (and fourth consecutive) to stay in the league, making short work of an opponent thrice his size! Hope to one day see him back in Makuuchi. Also in Juryo, our Egyptian friend gets owned by Endo, and that was all she wrote.
16E Tokushoryu (8-5) vs. 16W Shotenro (9-4): The two tango for a bit, without much energy as they’ve both secured their wins. Tokushoryu finds a morozashi grip and the rest is history. Yorikiri gives Tokushoryu his 9th.
14E Masunoyama (7-6) vs. 15E Wakanosato (5-8): Leave it to Wakanosato to never give handouts, despite already having a losing record, and fighting someone trying not to get a losing record. Wakanosato plays defensively just long enough to tire Masu out, which only takes 5 seconds, then lays him out in the sand with a twist and dump, tsukiotoshi.
10E Aran (7-6) vs. 14W Tamaasuka (5-8): Alan, only there to keep his rank and not put on a show, henkas in the worst way for his Kachikoshi, and possibly Tamaasuka’s demotion to juryo. The least amount of cheers I’ve heard for someone’s kachi.
8E Toyohibiki (7-6) vs. 15W Sokokurai (5-8): Soko tries to henka for an upset, but The Beak plays it safe with a very noncommittal tachiai. The Beak straightens up, and makes Soko look the idiot with a simple shove out, oshidashi Kachikoshi for Toyohibiki.
13W Jokoryu (4-9) vs. 8W Kitataiki (7-6): Despite losing the tachiai, The Joke manages to catch an overly aggressive Kitataiki off guard with a twisting shitatenage. Maybe tomorrow, Kitataiki…
12W Kotoyuki (7-6) vs. Yoshikaze (7-6): You could tell Yoshi was thinking it (henka?), sidestepping but keeping his head down. Ultimately his mistake as Kotoyuki keeps his forward momentum and tsupari slaps little Yoshi back to the bails and out, tsukiotoshi. Yoshi should just stick to the dirty henka fighting he’s used to. I expect to see THAT Yoshi tomorrow…
4E Kyokutenho (4-9) vs. 9W Sadanofuji (5-8): Just pro athletes trying to avoid injury, Kyokutenho wins Yorikiri. No sweat, literally.
13E Tamawashi (5-8) vs. 4W Fujiazuma (4-9): I think King Tama was expecting a lighter bout since there’s no winning this tournament. Leave it to Fujiazuma to miss the memo. A great head-butting tachiai and Azuma is off to the races: steps off the line to catch Tama off balance, charges in under Tama’s arms and shoves him to the bails, then over the bails, then off the dohyo, then into the front row. Yorikiri and then some!
3E Chiyiotairyu (7-6) vs. 7E Takarafuji (8-5): Chiyotairyu looked like he was in it to win it, which was too easy to read. Takarafuji with a safe tachiai, reads the Chiyo’s tsupari game, and just deflects until he sees the opportunity to sidestep. Chiyo misses his mark and goes flying out the other end with little help from Takarafuji, tsukiotoshi leaves Chiyo with one more day to make good on his march into the meat grinder!
2E Tochiozan (8-5) vs. 12E Kaisei (10-3): Kaisei looks like he takes Ozan’s shoulder in the forehead and loses focus for the little birdies. Ozan feels Kaisei leaning on him and just steps out of the way, letting Kaisei fall to the sand. Hatakikomi gives Tochiozan his 9th. Glad to see Tochiozan making his way back up.
11E Daido (0-13) vs. 2W Gagamaru (2-11): Our Lady catches a break today. Gaga helps, more like forces, Dido to keep his chin up with a hand under to shove Dido back to the bails. Dido puts up the white flag (again) and steps out to keep his perfect record, oshidashi 0-14.
5W Toyonoshima (6-7) vs. 1W Takayasu (7-6): Toyo tries to get a grip on the tachiai but is kept at bay by a tsupari defense form Takayasu. Takayasu just bullies the smaller, older Toyonoshima around the ring before getting Toyo against the bails for an easy finish. Tsukidashi kachikoshi for Takayasu, and makekoshi for Toyonoshima.
3W Aminishiki (4-9) vs. KW Tokitenku (4-9): Though we are used to seeing more from these two, with records like this, I think they are just out to NOT get hurt. A squeamish tachiai, a patty cake fight, the Mongol loses, Oshidashi.
SE Myogiryu (7-6) vs. 5E Ikioi (7-6): Good conditions for a good fight, the two eye each other on the line before a head-konking tachiai. The two lay into each other with hard thrusts, so it’s only a matter of who keeps their head down the longest. Myogiru looks up first, giving Ikioi the opening to charge, and the rest is history. Back to the bails and out, Oshitaoshi kachikoshi for Ikioi.
9E Aoiyama (10-3) vs. SW Goeido (6-7): You could tell Aoiyama was scared, never taking a step forward on the tachiai. Goeido plays it smart, dancing circles around his slower opponent, throwing slaps and thrusts to the face to bait Aoiyama in. Aoiyama takes the bait, Goeido sidesteps and slaps down to move one closer to his Kachi, tsukiotoshi.
KE Shohozan (5-8) vs. OW Kotooshu (9-4): Shoho plays it smart and knows Koto would lead with arms for this tiny opponent. Shoho plays off Koto’s thrusts until he’s able to get in with an eazy morozashi (two arms under Koto’s armpits), and wrestles the giant to the bails. Koto almost twists out of it, but trips over the bails as he does. Both men on the ground, but the judges give it to Shohozan after a monoii, yoritaoshi upset for the little musubi! Upon the instant replay by Kintamayama, it shows Shoho’s elbow touching first, but the judges have pity for Shoho to lesson his decent down the ranks.
OE Kakuryu (8-5) vs. 6W Okinoumi (9-4): The two giants wrap up at the tachiai and it becomes a belt game. Both with a right hand in, the Kak tries to squeeze in the left for a morozashi, but Okinoumi holds fast. The Kak takes a risk by giving up his left, and it pays off as Okinoumi gets caught thinking and falls to a kotenage arm throw. The Kak with his 9th.
YE Hakuho (13-0) vs. OE Kisenosato (10-3): Hakuho, trying to halt Kisenosato’s ascent to Yokozuna, gets a bit jumpy at the tachiai with a false start. Hakuho is not used to being out-waited. It works. Kise able to play it cool, Hakuho with a very uneasy tachiai bounces off the Ozeki and the rest shows Kisenosato’s unbreakable focus. Kisenosato, like a textbook, keeps his head down and always squares with the yokozuna before taking a step. Hakuho tries to keep the match from going to the belt by slapping the hell out of Kise with every advance. Kise keeps his head down and waits for his opening, which eventually comes. Kise gets a right hand in and The Hak on his heels, and forces the Yokozuna back to the bails. The Hak hits the bails and tries to turn on his inside arm for a shitatenage underarm throw. Kise reads it, releases his inside arm, and leans hard on his outside arm to force the Yokozuna over the bails and into the first row. Kisenosato takes his second gold star by yoritaoshi, and ends Hakuho’s streak for the second time.
OW Kotoshogiku (8-5) vs. YW Harumafuji (8-5): And for the anticlimax. The two wrap up at the tachiai and The Geek applys the hug-and-chug, a game Harumafuji can’t win. Harumafuji waits for the chug and releases his inside hand to apply a textbook uwatenage throw. Quick and easy for the yokozuna’s 9th win.
With two Yokozuna under his belt, Kise looks for a win tomorrow and another shot at a Yokozuna promotion next basho. Tomorrows bout will decide Kisenosato’s chances, so stay tuned!
A hui ho!