Hakuho survives – Fall Tournament, Day 10

Hakuho (10-0) survived a scare against Osunaarashi (4-6). Osunaarashi went for an early pull-down and got Hakuho onto one leg. The fact that he maintained his balance helps demonstrate just how good he is. He was able to regain his footing up against the straw bales and turn the tables on Osunaarashi. In other matches, Kakuryu (9-1) bounced back with a solid victory against Takekaze (5-5). Kisenosato (7-3) fell out of any hope at a championship as he got thrown by Terunofuji (5-5) after a long, patient bout. Kotoshogiku (6-4) aggressively took control in his win against fellow Ozeki Goeido (6-4).

Ichinojo (9-1) continues to impress, dispatching Yoshikaze (6-4) with apparent ease. Yoshikaze started with a slap attack that seemed to catch Ichinojo by surprise, but as soon as he went in to grapple…Ichinojo just threw him. Endo (1-9) was on the attack and seemed in control against Jokoryu (3-7) but Jokoryu was able to get the throw victory while retreating, catching Endo off balance. Endo fell to the dohyo long before Jokoryu landed in the first row of spectators. Ikioi (6-4) survived against a charging Aoiyama (5-5). Aoiyama was pummeling Ikioi, but Ikioi was somehow able to shove Aoiyama out for his sixth win.

Okinoumi won to move to 8-2 and the old guys, Aminishiki and Kyokutenho, continue to impress. Both improve to 7-3.

 

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My goals with this blog are to help promote the sport, particularly professional sumo, as well as help other fans find more resources out there.

Today is Day 9 of the Fall tournament. Hakuho leads with a dominant perfect 9-0 record. Kakuryu is one loss back from today’s defeat to Yoshikaze. Harumafuji withdrew earlier last week with an injury to his eye. I have yet to hear whether he has opted for surgery or if he will just rest it. Surgery means a 3 month recovery.

Ichinojo is also one loss back and faces Yoshikaze, who’d be fresh off his Gold Star performance from today.  Ichinojo’s first real test in the Makuuchi came against Ikioi on Friday. Ikioi’s bloody throw-down victory made it to the Wall Street Journal’s blog this morning. For some context, the last time the WSJ covered sumo was when a picture of a bunch of wrestlers on a plane went viral in July. Kind of like, “how many clowns can we fit in a tiny car?”

Ichinojo has certainly been impressive against the lower ranks of the maegashira so I look forward to more challenging matches with the Sanyaku. I imagine that if he wins, he’ll find himself up against Kisenosato, Kakuryu, and maybe Hakuho.

The schedule also has Hakuho facing Osunaarashi tomorrow. Osunaarashi’s not had a great tournament but is always capable of getting a win. Aoiyama was strong against Goeido the other day so he could give Ikioi a challenge. Goeido’s going to have a difficult day tomorrow against Kotoshogiku. Both Ozeki really need to rack up more wins. Kotoshogiku was just under threat of kadoban last tournament but pulled through with a great July…

Elsewhere, in Juryo, Ga-ga-ga-ga-gagamaru needs a strong showing this week. He’s standing on 4-5.