Hakuho (12-0) eased to his 12th win against Kisenosato (7-5). The yokozuna side-stepped his opponent’s rush, and didn’t even bother with a belt grip. He just wrapped his arms around the ozeki and ushered him over the side of the dohyo. Tomorrow he faces Goeido (6-6) who is in serious danger of not securing a winning record this tournament.
Goeido needed a win against the up-and-coming Ichinojo (11-1) but did not perform like an ozeki. Ichinojo had a clear size advantage and when he was able to get both hands on Goeido’s mawashi, Goeido seemed to know he was done. Ichinojo didn’t even seem out of breath when he dumped Goeido out of the ring. Next up: Kakuryu (10-2). Obviously, I look forward to seeing Ichinojo take on the Yokozuna but I’m also eager to see how he does against Osunaarashi, who’s been very aggressive and exciting of late. He even got Hakuho’s pulse rate up for a few seconds this tournament.
Kotoshogiku (8-4) secured his kachi-koshi winning record against Kakuryu today in a fairly even match. Both wrestlers were able to get belt grips and each seemed to gain the advantage in turn, but Kotoshogiku was able to get Kakuryu to the edge and over. Disappointed, the Yokozuna falls two off the pace and must face Ichinojo, the sensation, tomorrow.
Osunaarashi (5-7) aggressively battered Takekaze (5-7) out of the ring. Both have had impressive wins this tournament but need to win out this weekend to have winning records. Okinoumi (10-2) now has Kakuryu’s company two losses behind Hakuho and must face the surprising Aminishiki (9-3) tomorrow. Surely, if he wins, he’ll be thrown into the mix with Ichinojo and the two yokozuna on the final two days. An 11 win tournament will get him a pretty high maegashira seeding in November…and some stiff competition. Ikioi (8-4) got his eighth win today against Takayasu.
Endo’s (2-10) not having a good go of it this time ’round. With 10 losses this autumn, he’ll find himself among the mid-to-low level maegashira in November. His opponents have been thankful for all his promotion money, as they walk away with fistfulls of his prize money. They’re probably hoping Ichinojo’s success doesn’t draw away too much of Endo’s cash because they’ll be much less likely to mug the Mongolian mountain. He’ll be back in form soon, though. It’s a good indication that the competition is getting stronger.